Media Release

ARCHIVE: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | All Media Resources


World Stage Media Contact: Cary Mignault

World Stage to host the Canadian premiere of Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s masterwork La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice)

TORONTO, ON (Feb. 17, 2011) – Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2010-11 is proud to host Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Holland’s largest repertory company, and the Canadian premiere of world renowned director Ivo van Hove’s rendering of the seminal Jean Cocteau work La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice). Dutch director van Hove brings new light to a classic text written by Cocteau in 1927, commanding a brilliant performance from the eminent Dutch actress Halina Reijn that the Village Voice described as “a spare, raw, enormously affecting production, brought to incisive life [by Reijn].”

One of the world's few great solo pieces written for a woman, La Voix Humaine in van Hove’s hands is a daring foray into the private realm of a relationship collapsing, and through a sparse set – namely only Reijn and her telephone – the audience is allowed a glimpse into this heart-wrenching emotional landscape.

“Ivo van Hove's work has been groundbreaking in opening up audiences' understanding of classic texts and films. His work is unique, raw, shocking, surprising, hilarious – everything you want theatre to be – and he doesn't shy away from the ugly or the profane. In a word, stunning, with a capital ‘S’.” – Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett

For van Hove, La Voix Humaine is about an identity crisis. The rejected protagonist tries to drag herself back from the brink of emotional ruin during a final telephone call with her ex-lover. She is forced to re-evaluate her life and relationship and, in particular, to rediscover herself as a woman who is free to take control of her own life. Her loneliness, fears and desires unfurl in Cocteau’s unmistakable and compelling monologue.

The French poet, playwright and film director Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) wrote La Voix Humaine in 1927. The piece is one of the few monologues in the world repertoire written for a woman. It formed the basis for the opera of the same name by François Poulenc.

La Voix Humaine runs March 2 through March 5 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre, performed in Dutch with English surtitles.

*MEDIA NOTE: Production images available here:

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2010-11
La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice)
Ivo van Hove/Toneelgroep Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
March 2-5, 8 p.m., Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West
70 minutes
Tickets: $15-$45
Box office: 416 973-4000 or visit:
Toneelgroep Amsterdam is Holland's prime theatre company and the official municipal theatre company of Amsterdam, based in Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam.

Complete information about performance times, special student and industry discounts and other information is available through the Harbourfront Centre box office by phone at
416-973-4000, or online at

Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2010-11 gratefully acknowledges the support of Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Intercontinental, the official host hotel of World Stage.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site it operates in the heart of Toronto’s downtown waterfront.


Media Contact: Cary Mignault, 416-973-4655,
Where you are:   Home / Who We Are / Media Resources