Ivo van Hove, one of the world’s most esteemed theatre directors (Network, All About Eve), will bring his Internationaal Theater Amsterdam ensemble to The Lowry to perform The Fountainhead.
Often considered Van Hove’s most controversial work, The Fountainhead is a performative translation of Ayn Rand’s uncompromising novel, which was first published in 1943. This twentieth-century classic literary work has been considered a major influence for libertarian politicians, both in the UK and the other side of the Atlantic.
We’re thrilled that The Fountainhead will receive its UK premiere at MIF19. Presented as a pre-Factory trailblazer event, this performance offers an exciting peek at the kind of work we can expect to see from Van Hove at The Factory, MIF’s future home.
The narrative centres around Howard Roark, an aspiring young architect who designs modernist buildings and resists compromising to his school’s outdated traditions. Rejecting the simple routes to commercial success, Roark favours innovation and independence and pits himself against those who spinelessly repeat the views of others; of fellow architect Peter Keating who compromises his design to fit market demands; and of Guy Francon, a traditionalist who copies architecture from the past.
Van Hove has described The Fountainhead as ‘a war of ideas’, ‘a battle between modernism and classicalism’. Enveloping art and architecture, commerce and capitalism, the architect’s sphere is used as a rich metaphor to open a discourse around identity, autonomy and our engagement with art. The Fountainhead is also a passionate hymn to individualism – a deep and destructive love story.
The Fountainhead will run for four hours and fifteen minutes with one interval, and it will be presented in Dutch with English surtitles.