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The Damned

From 67 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Intense, Absorbing

About the show

Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove premieres of his adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s dark drama 'The Damned,' with the historic walls of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall forming the backdrop for this production. More…

Using the screenplay rather than Visconti’s film as a starting point, van Hove traces the disintegration of the wealthy Essenbeck family and their steel dynasty during the seizure of power of the Nazis in 1933 in Germany, reflecting the ideological debauchery of a society ready to make the most venomous alliances for the benefit of its sole economic interests.

Member Reviews (67)


Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Intense, Absorbing
Avg Score

Great direction, Great acting, Great staging, Confusing

See it if big dramatic production with over-the-top amazing staging. Great performances. Impressive & very creative.

Don't see it if Confusing and at points unclear story. Watching the movie would have helped a lot especially with the very fast English supertitles.

Also 2hr 20min, no intermission (not counting the 5min grace period). Could... Read more Read less

Great staging, Intense, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if You're a fan of Van Hove's work - Very inventive direction and staging. Dark and Heavy story w/ excellent performances.

Don't see it if See the movie first. Story can behard to follow due to Simultaneously reading supertitles, watching the screens + actors on stage.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Raunchy, Riveting

See it if Great acting as well as directing. If you want to see a show about the deepest darkest places.

Don't see it if Nudity, very violent very dark. A very deep moving piece. It gets scattered at different points. Covers sex addiction, greed and nazis.

Dizzying, Shocking, Indulgent, Disturbing, Morbid

See it if Macbeth in Nazi Germany. Potential family heirs to a steel company vie for power and murder each other. Sensational staging & sound design.

Don't see it if Intrigue driven plot with shallow characters. Melodrama. Excessive male nudity. Graphic pedophilia. Drunken nude gay orgy.

Haunting, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Sadly relevant

See it if to witness van Hove's epic, genre-busting adaptation of Visconti's Nazi Germany family drama about greed, loyalty & self-preservation.

Don't see it if you aren't prepared for relentless cruelty, unsettling nakedness & the indictment of our collective complicity in the bankruptcy of morality

Aestheticized, European, Pathologically detached, Sensory, Multi-media

See it if you are someone who is interested in the possibilities of contemporary staging.

Don't see it if you'd like an esthetic treatment of the early 3rd Reich to also provide an ethical frame within which to contemplate the staging's beauties.

Also Interested in contemporary staging? See Ivo Van Hove’s stage adaptatio... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great staging, Great singing, Intense, Confusing

See it if This is long, but the story is interesting. Great acting.

Don't see it if This is not for everybody. Disturbing, Nude, violence, betrayed, power, evil, killing, WW II.

Intense, Chilling, Great staging, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you want to see a brilliantly produced, horrifying story of bitterness and greed within a wealthy family, leading to their own destruction.

Don't see it if cannot sit through over two hours of violence, nudity, hatred, blood letting, greed and difficulty following who is who in the story. Messy

Also The stage is very busy between super titles, stage, video and learning... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if You are ready to be mesmerized by Ivo van Hove, and immersed in a sensory experience about the Nazi takeover of private industry in 1933.

Don't see it if Brutality, and splits and changes in Germany’s culture in 1933, because of the insanity of a leader upset you. Family strife & pedophilia.

Also I cannot begin to describe this experience in a few paragraphs. The we... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Intense, Slow, Edgy, Resonant

See it if you are a van Hove fan or want to see the Comédie-Française or if you haven't seen the 1969 Visconti film

Don't see it if saw the film or if you find van Hove's work indulgent and overblown.

Also My advice: Rent the movie!

Confusing, Great staging, Epic

See it if you are a van Hove fan; this is big, bold and evocative with incredible, disturbing visuals and weighty themes.

Don't see it if The show is performed entirely in French with fast moving subtitles, a cast of 3 dozen and incest, molestation, buckets of blood, coffins..

Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like smart original theater, especially in this case, a production that takes full advantage of the awesome space of the armory.

Don't see it if you believe that supporting evil is ever okay especially if "you don't have a choice".

Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting, Disturbing, Thought-provoking

See it if a play about a family steel dynasty in the early days of Nazis with the nonstop horrors staged masterfully; very unique & gripping scenes

Don't see it if very, very many horrifying scenes including - a blood bath & those involving coffins (occupied) and an extremely disturbing final scene

Also The play is in French with subtitles and also with a video display in ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you adore Ivo's directorial work. This is not to be missed. A truly jaw-dropping, reflective + relevant piece that resonates strongly today.

Don't see it if you're triggered by intense violence, guns, nudity, and anything remotely shocking you could think of in connection to WWII era Germany

Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you admire van Hove's incredible vision and his ability to create stunning spectacles.

Don't see it if violence, bloodshed, nudity and raw emotionalism offend you. This is a wild (and long) ride, but well worth the trip.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting, Masterful

See it if Chilling production beautifully done in great locale. The action spans the breadth of the Drill Hall. The performances are riveting.

Don't see it if Violent images are upsetting to you. Production utilizes supertitles, loud music,which could be off putting to some people

Haunting, Slow, Beautiful, Scary, Riveting

See it if you like the Visconti film (I didn't); like von Hove (I do); like plays in French; prize visual excellence above narrative momentum.

Don't see it if You don't want to be excruciated by a Greek-tragedy-inflected (incest & all) Holocaust narrative. IVH calls it a "Ritual of Evil"

Also See the film first. Even though IVH did not rewatch it, and just assem... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great staging, Masterful, Riveting

See it if Ivo van Hove ... production, production, production. Comédie- Française is masterful. Devastating and dangerous.

Don't see it if French language of German family/story can confuse...look past.

Riveting, Powerful, Relentless, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You like theater raw, like to be challenged, don’t mind subtitles, are challenged by actors stripping themselves bare (literal/figurative).

Don't see it if You’re offended by violence, nudity, the story Nazi Germany, need linear storytelling, like staging, hate multimedia, or want a happy show.

Also This is von Hove at his best/worst, depending on how you like him. Thi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Intense

See it if You want to see a master director (Ivo Van Hove) use his considerable skills to tell a horrifying tale in exquisite ways.

Don't see it if You don’t like dark themes.

Also This is a visually stunning production with an outstanding French cast... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Profound

See it if Brilliant Ivo can Hove staging of Visconte’s The Damned in masterful intensely staged and acted brutality and depravity of rise of Nazism

Don't see it if It is like nothing you have ever seen especially the Night of the Long Knives - brilliant and horrifying

Revolutionary, Bleak, Meticulous, Spectacular

See it if you want to see a new frontier in theatrical staging.

Don't see it if you are offended by excessive nudity and violence.

Also these are images that will haunt a lifetime.

Great acting, Great staging, Must see, Relevant, Intense

See it if You like great acting, writing, staging, that is intense, and disturbing.

Don't see it if You are bothered by nudity and do not like to see any violence.

Monstrous spectacle, Innovative, Gripping, Shocking

See it if Brilliantly theatrical, with creative use of video, seamlessly meshing live action with recording, wonderful use of the vast Armory space.

Don't see it if It's got violence, nudity, perversion, a host of nasty characters,real child actors in it's portrayal of pedophilia and it's in French.

Also I was very impressed with van Hove''s dramatizing the screenplay from ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Slow, Relevant

See it if This is, like his other works, a dissociated approach to drama. The effect is alienating and assaultive but effective in this case

Don't see it if you are looking for a warm and fuzzy experience or are put off by violence, nudity and a crazyness that guides this descent into hell

July 18th, 2018
“Astonishing...Despite Mr. van Hove’s directorial relish for sweaty melodrama, which the cast delivers with gusto, flames burn cold in 'The Damned.' I mean cold enough to keep you shivering from beginning to end...The political attitudes of the characters, embodied with unnerving intensity and di...
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July 18th, 2018
“Methodically terrifying...Despite the magnetic pull of that screen, the production is at its most visceral when its merciless images play out in the bodies of its actors...There’s no petty attempt at audience-shaming, no finger wagging or spurious call to action. Instead, van Hove and his undaun...
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July 19th, 2018
"It's a powerful, unfortunately timely tale whose impact should be momentous. Instead, the Comedie-Francaise production directed by acclaimed avant-garde director Ivo van Hove diffuses the story's emotional impact by relentlessly calling attention to its cleverness. The most obvious example of th...
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July 19th, 2018
"Greed, sex addiction, blackmail and craven excuses for Nazis…nope, no relevance to see here!...Neither the screenplay nor van Hove’s chic, mediated staging deepen our understanding of why Martin is so maladjusted...As usual, the design is impeccable, and you leave with images seared into memory....
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Cast & Creatives (5)