Death in Venice

Death in Venice

An intense infatuation fuels the tension between social expectations and personal desire

Lyn Gardner avatar
5 March 2020  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Thomas Mann’s novella, about an artist who prolongs his stay in Venice during a cholera outbreak because of his obsession with a beautiful boy, is a strange mysterious thing. Mann claimed that he had made nothing up, and he is fully present in this new adapatation. The tension between expectation and desire, destruction and liberation and the role of beauty and art should be amply explored in in this new musical version directed by Ivo van Hove. It comes with specially composed music by Nico Muhly as well as pieces by Strauss and Schoenberg performed live by the Britton Sinfonia.”


A show that deftly combines theatre and music, directed by Ivo van Hove.

Celebrated author Thomas Mann is in crisis. He is struggling with writer’s block and a forbidden attraction to a young boy. Secluded in his workshop, he creates a fictional counterpoint of himself: Von Aschenbach, the man he dares not be in real life. A classical score played live by Britten Sinfonia supports the ensuing whirl of emotions portrayed onstage as he sends his alter ego to Venice.

Adapted by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr, who performs the role of Aschenbach, Death in Venice is based both on Mann’s intimate novella and the author’s own life. Highlighting the inner struggle of an artist who channels his experiences into his literature, the drama also introduces the viewpoint of Mann’s wife. New music by American composer Nico Muhly features alongside Strauss and Schoenberg.

Age Recommendation: 16+

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 16 Apr - Sun 19 Apr, 3pm & 7.45pm
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins


Silk Street EC2Y 8DS London, UK · Get Directions

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