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The way she dies


The way she dies is based on Anna Karenina, but is not an ordinary theatre adaptation of the book. The way she dies examines how the novel influences the lives of two couples living in Lisbon and Antwerp respectively, on two separate occasions.
The way she dies brings Belgian and Portuguese actors together in the first piece that Tiago Rodrigues, artistic director of the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II in Lisbon, wrote for tg STAN.

“If it is true that, like Umberto Eco says, translators are those who devote themselves to the art of failure, aren’t actors the twin brothers of translators? Doesn’t theatre face the same dilemma of trying to find its own version of the death of Anna Karenina, translating it into the here and now of a stage? If George Steiner says that translators enlarge our maps, can’t we say that actors are the people who live on the borders (not in a city, but in train stations or airports of language, the corridors of meaning)? When we look at an actor on stage, aren’t we partaking in that unavoidable failure of getting words across a border? How does she die? How does she die? How does she die?”

The way she dies is a wonderful gift. Books are frequently translated into stage plays, for sure, but more often than not, they get bogged down in the struggle to put the plot across in a performance, and in so doing lose its intrinsic meaning. Here, on the other hand, the game slowly but surely reveals what Tolstoy's text has done, what literature really does: it determined the rules of the game (of love) and the way we interpret its course. Even those who have never heard of Tolstoy, play out his story. 

"The Way She Dies is real theatre of ideas. The French translation also becomes the subject of the play. Thanks to several brilliant word plays and the trilingual ending, you start to ask yourself if the translations of Anna Karenina tell the same story. Is each translation an interpretation, is every reading personal?"

by and with

  • Isabel Abreu
  • Pedro Gil
  • Jolente De Keersmaeker
  • Frank Vercruyssen


  • Tiago Rodrigues

set and light

  • Thomas Walgrave


  • An D'Huys
  • Britt Angé


  • Martine Bom


  • STAN
  • D. Maria II National Theatre (PT)

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  1. Saturday 11 May 2019 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  2. Sunday 12 May 2019 — 15h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen


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