Duration: 1 hour and 50 minutes without interval
The year of cancer by Hugo Claus is the story of an impossible love. It is one of the favourite books of Luk Perceval, the director: “It is an unmerciful story. Unmerciful in the way it portrays the impermanence of love. The plot shows how, after the first flushes, love quickly transforms into false expectations and unbearable disappointments”.
The play is a series of tragicomic and harrowing scenes between two people who cannot live either with or without each other. The lovers are caught up in a vortex of intimacy and distance, pride and devotion, life and death.
Hugo Claus wrote The Year of Cancer in 1972, and it immediately became a best-seller. It is a story about love which embraces both its profound and banal aspects. The two lovers first experience the enchantment of falling in love, followed by the wearing battle after the break-down.
In the story, Claus underlines the precariousness, stress and incompatibility of love. The two lovers have sexually-related problems even if they often, with effort, seek out each other. She is unable to commit because her awareness of the deterioration of the relationship surrounds her entire life like a veil. He is unable to save her because he misinterprets her cries for love as refusal. While he dreams of a future together, she lives in the past and carries the weight of her past relationships. The result is that both fail in their search for intimacy and fall into silence, but neither of the two wants to end the relationship.
The director stresses that this is a story which represents “the undefined confines between delusion and reality, love as a drug and an illusion”. As James Joyce once wrote: “Love loves to love love”.
The Dutch theatrical company Toneelgroep Amsterdam returns to the Piccolo Teatro following the diptych “After the Rehearsal/Persona” by Ingmar Bergman, which formed part of the 2014/2015 season, directed by Ivo van Hove. The Dutch director Luk Perceval graduated in acting at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp. In 1984 he co-founded the independent theatre Blauwe Maandag Compagnie, where he presented his first work as a director. Since the 2009/2010 season, he has held the role of director at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg.
The show contains scenes of full-frontal nudity
Piccolo Teatro Strehler
from 5 to 8 April 2018
The Year of Cancer
by Hugo Claus
directed by Luk Perceval
with Maria Kraakman, Gijs Scholten van Aschat
adaptation Peter van Kraaij, Luk Perceval
dramaturgy Peter van Kraaij
scenography Katrin Brack
light design Mark Van Denesse
music Jeroen van Veen
costumes Annelies Vanlaere
choreography Ted Stoffer
a Toneelgroep Amsterdam production
privat producer Mies and Jaap Kamp / van Meeuwen Kan fonds
In Dutch language with surtitles in Italian