Sonia Friedman Productions has announced that Ruth Wilson will star in Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice, which he also directs with design by Jan Versweyveld, originally produced by Internationaal Theater Amsterdam. The production opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 22 March, with previews from 17 March, and runs for three weeks only until 9 April.
Ruth Wilson said today, “I am absolutely thrilled to be collaborating again with Ivo and Jan on this wonderful, heartbreaking and deeply human monologue from Jean Cocteau. A woman alone with only her phone as companion, Cocteau explores the nature of intimate relations through inanimate objects. In a world in which are all addicted to and dependent on our phones, this play from the 1930s couldn’t feel more prescient. Ivo is the perfect director to bring Cocteau’s play to life as both share a love of the absurd as a mirror to truth.”
Sonia Friedman added, “It’s a privilege to begin the New Year in reuniting the extraordinary talents of two incredible theatre makers – Ruth Wilson and Ivo van Hove, bringing to London Ivo’s adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s The Human Voice, an intimate, captivating and devastatingly raw monologue.”
“We’ve never been more connected. We’ve never been more alone.
Two-time Olivier Award-winner Ruth Wilson stars in The Human Voice – the searing story of a woman’s heartbreak over the course of a final phone call with her former lover.
Reunited with groundbreaking director Ivo van Hove for the first time since their acclaimed Hedda Gabler, Ruth Wilson returns to the West End for 31 performances in this explosive reimagining of one of theatre’s greatest roles.
Jean Cocteau’s stunning monologue is more illuminating about love and loneliness than ever.”
Supported by Arts Council England
Produced with the kind permission of the Chairman of the Comite Jean Cocteau
Ruth Wilson’s theatre credits include King Lear (Cort Theater – Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play), Hedda Gabbler (National Theatre – Oliver Award nomination for Best Actress), Constellations (Samuel J Friedman Theatre – Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play), The El Train (also director), Anna Christie – Oliver Award for Best Actress, A Streetcar Named Desire – Oliver Award for Best Supporting Actress (Donmar Warehouse), Through a Glass Darkly (Almeida Theatre), & Philistines (National Theatre) and Good. For television, her work includes His Dark Materials, The Affair (Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series), Luther, Mrs Wilson (also producer – nominated for 4 BAFTAs including Best Actress in a Leading Role), Small Island, Capturing Mary, A Real Summer and Jane Eyre. In 2020 Wilson set up her production company, Lady Lazarus. For the company, her first film, True Things, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the BIFA’s, was written and directed by Harry Wootliff, and made in collaboration with BBC films and the BFI. Other film credits include Oslo, The Little Stranger, Dark River, I am the Thing that Lives in the House, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Suite Francaise, Locke, Saving Mr Banks, The Lone Ranger and Anna Karenina. In 2020 Wilson was awarded an MBE for services to drama.
Jean Cocteau (1889 –1963) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic. His additional principal works for the stage include La Machine Infernale, Les Parents terribles, La Machine à écrire, and L’Aigle à deux têtes.
Ivo van Hove has been Artist Director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (formerly Toneelgroup) since 2001. From 1998 to 2004, he was Artistic Director of the Holland Festival, presenting a varied selection of international theatre, music, opera and dance. His theatre credits include the theatrical adaptation of The Glass Menagerie (Théâtre de l’Odéon, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam), West Side Story (Broadway Theatre), All About Eve (Noël Coward Theatre), Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life (Internationaal Theater Amsterdam), Network (National Theatre and Cort Theatre, Broadway), Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), A View from the Bridge (Young Vic/Wyndham’s Theatre/Lyceum Theatre, Broadway), The Crucible (Walter Kerr Theatre), Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre/New York Theatre Workshop); and Visconti’s The Damned (La Comédie-Française, Paris/ The Park Avenue Armory). He is the recipient of two Olivier Awards and two Tony Awards for A View From the Bridge; two Obie Awards for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler. In addition, he is also Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France; and King Filip of Belgium awarded him Commander of the Order of the Crown. Additional directing credits include Angels in America, Roman Tragedies, Kings of War, Opening Night, Taming of the Shrew, Scenes from a Marriage, Othello, The Miser, Mourning Becomes Electra, Long Day’s Journey into Night and The Fountainhead (all Internationaal Theater Amsterdam).
SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS:
THE HUMAN VOICE
BY JEAN COCTEAU
ADAPTED AND DIRECTED BY IVO VAN HOVE
DESIGNED BY JAN VERSWEYVELD
17 March – 9 April
Opening night: 22 March at 7pm
Twitter: @SFP_London #TheHumanVoicePlay
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Facebook: /SoniaFriedmanProductions # TheHumanVoicePlay