Tag Archives: Ivo van Hove


The origin of Joseph Mankiewicz’s legendary screenplay ALL ABOUT EVE is a true story the actress Elisabeth Bergner told author-actress-playwright Mary Orr about a stage door waif, Martina Lawrence, who insinuated herself into Bergner’s life to a threatening degree. In Orr’s fictional telling, the faux-naïf schemer—Eve—takes over the great actress’ career, husband, and stardom, ending the tale with a thousand-dollar-a-week contract from a Hollywood studio.

Since studio Code dictated that villains must always be punished, 20th Century Fox couldn’t film that version in 1950. So Mankiewicz devised a brilliant ending: the star—Margo Channing—wouldn’t lose everything to the interloper, and Eve ends up with her own Eve to thwart.

Ivo van Hove—the European avant-gardist-turned-unlikely Broadway powerhouse—and his designer Jan Versweyveld have transformed ALL ABOUT EVE for the London stage. Gillian Anderson pulls out all the stops, playing Margo at 50—not the film’s 40—and more obsessed with surface aging as a harbinger of irrelevance than Bette Davis was in her indelible star turn. The essential difference between EVE‘s sparkling 1950s urbanity and its 2019 iteration may be explained by Ben Brantley’s take on van Hove’s sensibility:

“He is a tragedian, first and foremost, though I think we can make room for tragedians in a time when they’re a rare breed among directors… What I think fascinates him, and what often works for me, is the idea of monolithic personalities, damned to suffocate under their own passions (or egos).”

The National Theatre production of ALL ABOUT EVE co-stars Lily James in the title role. Monica Dolan is Margo’s best friend Karen, Rhashan Stone is her husband, playwright Lloyd Richards, Julian Ovenden is Margo’s lover-director Bill, Stanley Townsend is critic Addison DeWitt, and Sheila Reid is Birdie, Margo’s dresser (played in Mankiewicz’s film by Thelma Ritter). PJ Harvey composed the score.

This weekend, L.A. Theatre Works presents the NTLive screening of ALL ABOUT EVE at UCLA.


Sunday, June 23, at 3 pm.

James Bridges Theater

Melnitz Hall, UCLA

235 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles.

From top: Gillian Anderson in All About Eve, Noël Coward Theatre, London, 2019; Sheila Reid (left), Anderson, and Monica Dolan; Lily James; Julian Overden and Anderson; Rhashan Stone and Anderson; Anderson and Dolan; Overden and James; Anderson. Photographs by Perou, courtesy and © the photographer, the performers, and the National Theatre.


Ivo van Hove and the Comédie Française meet at the Armory for a performance/installation art production of Luchino Visconti’s THE DAMNED that combines live actors, musicians, and a roving videographer.


THE DAMNED, directed by Ivo van Hove, through July 28.

IVO VAN HOVE and LAURIE ANDERSON in conversation, Thursday, July 19, at 6 pm.

Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue (at 66th Street), New York City.

Ivo van Hove’s production of The Damned, Festival d’Avignon. Photographs by Christophe Raynaud de Lage.


Luchino Visconti got there first. Ossessione, his unauthorized version of James M. Cain‘s The Postman Always Rings Twice, hit the screens in 1943, and Italian neorealism was born. Hollywood’s noir take, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield, appeared three years later. Postman was remade in the 1980s with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson, and Stephen Paulus and Colin Graham turned it into an opera in 1982. This year, avant–garde director Ivo van Hove returned to Cain via Visconti, and brought OBSESSION to the London stage.

Jude Law is Gino, a drifter who arrives at a roadside diner/garage and finds himself in a situation of immediate, mutual attraction with the proprietor’s young wife Hanna (Halina Reijn). Dissatisfied with her lot as kitchen slave and wife of a control freak, Hanna and her lover plot to murder her husband (Gijs Scholten Van Aschat).

L.A. Theatre Works (LATW), the premiere Los Angeles screening venue for National Theatre Live, brings this Barbican Centre/Toneelgroep Amsterdam co-production to the James Bridges Theater at UCLA for an encore on Sunday afternoon, June 4.

OBSESSION screening, Sunday, June 4, at 4 pm.





(Top) Clara Calamai and Massimo Girotti in Ossessione, directed by Luchino Visconti.

Ossessione (1943)
Modern version of the Macbeths … Law and Reijn in Obsession.