The Damned (Les Damnés) Tickets London Theatre

The Damned (Les Damnés) Tickets

Crackling with intensity, this triumphant spectacle directed by Ivo van Hove depicts the disintegration of a society, undone through a venomous alliance, the drama finding unsettling parallels today.

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Luchino Visconti’s screenplay is the springboard for a ceaselessly creative production, which follows a family of German industrialists – the corrupt and debauched Essenbeck clan. With echoes of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, their deepening collusion with the nascent Nazi regime puts them on a perilous path to destruction.

Invited to direct the illustrious troupe of Comédie-Française for the first time, Van Hove and his long-time collaborator Jan Versweyveld populate the Barbican stage with a company of 30 actors and technicians. Archival footage and live recordings projected onto a screen form a counterpoint to the immense and involving action, the roving camera at times turned on the audience.

The Damned (Les Damnés) is performed in French with English surtitles.

Critic reviews

Many will find the play’s theme of the perils of democracy timely


The cast build up the atmosphere of doom and magnetic energy in tight collaboration

· Broadway World

Ivo van Hove’s superb, deeply distressing staging of The Damned

· Financial Times

Sound and vision reach a zenith of invention as the doomed patriarch's son Konstantin goes berserk with his SA buddies

· The Arts Desk

This is a riveting spectacle acted by a great ensemble

· The Guardian

Just when it feels like it’s teetering on the brink of being operatically silly, it will take a visceral and terrifying lurch into an image of startling clarity and relevance

· The Upcoming

‘The Damned’ begins in twilight and ends in total darkness. It’s not a happy experience, but it is a brilliant piece of art

· Time Out

With nudity, sexual assault and paedophilia, Ivo van Hove tests the boundaries of acceptability

· The Telegraph

A typically flashy staging of Luchino Visconti’s film by Ivo van Hove that lacks any real resonance

· The Stage

The whole thing, for all its cleverness, feels heavy-handed and laboured

· WhatsOnStage
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Date & time

Show ended
Wed 19 Jun - Tue 25 Jun


Silk Street EC2Y 8DS London, UK · Get Directions

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