In Roman Tragedies the director Ivo van Hove presents three plays by Shakespeare together in a six-hour performance on the subject of our visual culture and our political mechanisms. 

When it was first performed in 2007, Roman Tragedies made a huge impression. The director Ivo van Hove presented three ‘political’ plays by Shakespeare – Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra – together in a six-hour performance on the subject of our visual culture, our contemporary political order and the mechanisms that underlie them. The rise and fall of a politician is shown three times. The performance is conceived as a television show in which the audience sits in the middle of the political arena, and is able to move around and follow events in Rome live on stage or on screens inside and outside the auditorium. In the orchestra pit, two members of BL!NDMAN represent the threat of war with their ominous percussion. The manipulation, murder and war taking place in Rome are regularly interrupted by advertisements and news-flashes of current events. What is real? What is fake? On the political stage, everything is simply a sham.


  • Text • William Shakespeare
  • Set Design • Jan Versweyveld
  • Video • Tal Yarden
  • Costume design • Lies van Assche
  • Musical performance • BL!NDMAN
  • Actors • Alwin Pulinckx / Bart Slegers / Chris Nietvelt / Eelco Smits / Fred Goessens / Marieke Heebink / Maria Kraakman / Hans Kesting / Hélène Devos / Janni Goslinga / Frieda Pittoors
  • Dramaturgy • Alexander Schreuder / Bart van den Eynde / Jan Peter Gerrits
  • Composition • Eric Sleichim
  • Direction • Ivo van Hove
Location Dates Hour  
Barbican Centre London (London)
+44 20 7638 8891