Kings of War OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Emon Hassan
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    November 3, 2016
    Closing:
    November 6, 2016

    Theater: BAM Howard Gilman Opera House / 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217

    Synopsis: 

    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.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Kings of War

    Shakespeare’s Take on the Game of Thrones

    Ben Brantley

    November 4, 2016: During the more than four thrilling hours of Ivo van Hove’s “Kings of War,” an omnibus adaptation of five Shakespearean history plays at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, you may feel that those disturbing noises coming from the stage are just echoes of what you’re hearing in your own head these days. Sometimes there’s the amplified ticking of a clock, a bursting heartbeat, a mismatched thrum of tentacular chords or a brass fanfare sliding into sinister dissonance. In every case, though, the sound (dazzlingly realized in Eric Sleichim’s music) is that of a nation slowly cracking apart amid corruption, factionalism and political viciousness, as the oversize egos of would-be rulers collide with toxic trickle-down consequences.

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