Toneelgroep Amsterdam [Amsterdam]

Angels in America - part I

Angels in America - part I
Angels in America - part I


Dreams, hallucinations and lies

Following Romeinse Tragedies, Ivo van Hove will take on yet another major play, Angels in America, a theatrical diptych about love, fear and hope. 

America during the Reagan administration in the eighties. The politics are hard and cold. Aids is the new disease that strikes the gay community and is kept under wraps by the ultraconservative government. A group of New Yorkers unintentionally appear in one another’s lives. Their fears regarding life and death try to find a way out in an infection of dreams, hallucinations and lies.  

Angels in America is a sensitive and complex portrait of a lost generation that stands up to a heartless world. The spectacle of world politics unfolds in the intimacy of a domestic drama.

Van Hove on Kushner’s modern classic: ‘Angels in America has everything to do with loss and dying. The two main characters literally fight a life and death struggle with the disease. It is not only people that die, but relationships too. Various characters flee into visions that are a sort of outlet for their dreams and fears. Angels in America is about the possibility of transformation: caterpillars change into butterflies, butterflies die and the cycle starts all over again. It is also an ode to man’s ability to adapt and survive.’ 

Tony Kushner is one of the most committed writers in the United States. He writes plays and film scenarios (such as Steven Spielberg’s Munich). Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is a diptych from 1992 and criticises the spirit of an age in which norms and values form the basis of a civilisation alien to human nature. Kushner believes in man’s inherent desire to improve the world, a change that would be unthinkable without imagination. Angels in America won him the Pulitzer Prize for the best play. It has since become a modern classic and became famous through the prize-winning mini-serial, also broadcast in the Netherlands, with Meryl Streep and Al Pacino in the leading roles.

Angels in America comprises two plays which will be staged on separate evenings during the week and as a marathon version on Saturday.

a play by Tony Kushner
direction Ivo van Hove
dramaturgy Peter van Kraaij
set Jan Versweyveld
costume design Wojciech Dziedzic
with Barry Atsma, Roeland Fernhout, Marieke Heebinck, Fedja van Huêt, Hans Kesting, Hadewych Minis, Alwin Pulinckx, Eelco Smits