A Note to our Audiences
While our spaces remain closed due to Covid-19, the spirit of BAM is very much alive. Be sure to peruse our current offerings and keep an eye on this page as we’ll be continuously rolling out new programs and events—all designed for the virtual space—as a way to stay responsive to what’s going on, both at BAM and in the world at large.
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Three Shakespeare kings share a war room.
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November 2016
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Thursday November 03, 2016
Performances no longer available.
US Premiere
Kings of War
Nov 3—Nov 6, 2016

By William Shakespeare
Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Directed by Ivo van Hove


Three kings. Three impeccably pressed suits. In director Ivo van Hove’s (Antigone, 2015 Next Wave; Angels in America, 2014 Next Wave) clever merging of the plays Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II & III, and Richard III, three Bardian power players enter the fluorescent-lit corridors of the present. On a set divided between modern war chamber and its antiseptic back rooms, autocrats debate national security over Scotch while handheld cameras pry into their drug-fueled binges behind the scenes. Soliloquies turn into media spectacles as Van Hove offers this nuanced character study of Shakespeare’s volatile kings, each tasked with making big decisions with egos, and lives, at stake. 


Translation by Rob Klinkenberg
Adaptation by Bart van den Eynde and Peter van Kraaij
Dramaturgy by Peter van Kraaij
Design and lighting by Jan Versweyveld
Music by Eric Sleichim
Costumes by An D’Huys
Video by Tal Yarden

Co-commissioned by Barbican London, Théâtre National de Chaillot, and Wiener Festwochen
Co-produced with BL!NDMAN, Holland Festival, Muziektheater Transparant, Rabobank Amsterdam, and Harry and Marijke van den Bergh

In Dutch with English titles
4hrs 23min with intermission
“...textured and full of highlights the way in which the misuse of power leads to greater abuses, and how often our leaders’ self-importance and desire for legacy can undo both them and us.”
— The Guardian (UK)
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“Van Hove’s compression of the histories is a timely reminder that across the centuries, Shakespeare’s knowledge of the human heart remains unwithered by age, unstaled by familiarity.”
— The Telegraph
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