Flemish director Ivo Van Hove wins British theatre prize


Celebrated stage director Ivo Van Hove has won Britain's top theatre prize for his direction of a new adaptation of A View From the Bridge

"Best show in the West End"

Flemish theatre director Ivo van Hove won this year's Laurence Olivier Award for best director during a ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London last weekend. The British theatre prize, named after actor Laurence Olivier, is one of the most prestigious awards for theatre in the world.

Van Hove’s adaptation of the Arthur Miller play A View From the Bridge was a huge hit in London's West End this year, winning raves in every review. "To say visionary Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s production of ‘A View from the Bridge’ is the best show in the West End at the moment," wrote Time Out London in February, "is like saying Stonehenge is the current best rock arrangement in Wiltshire: It almost feels silly to compare this pure, primal, colossal thing with anything else in Theatreland."

The play also won Olivier awards for best actor (British actor Mark Strong) and best revival.

Originally from Antwerp province, Van Hove has been the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001. He has won numerous awards for his international productions, and his English-language Antigone of Sophocles, starring Juliette Binoche, sold out four nights at deSingel in Antwerp earlier this month.

Brussels theatre company Peeping Tom also won an Olivier award last weekend, for best new dance production with 32 Rue Vandenbranden. To be eligible to win an Olivier Award, a production must have been performed in a British theatre at least 30 times in the year prior to the nomination.

photo: Ivo Van Hove (left) works with Obi Abili on the set of Antigone 
(c)Jan Versweyveld