Invited by the Comédie-Française to direct its actors, Ivo van Hove chose to adapt The Damned for the stage. Using the screenplay rather than Visconti's film as a starting point, he tells the story of the Essenbecks as Nazism triumphs in Germany, in a show whose scenography borders on installation art. To protect their interests, the steel tycoons of the Essenbeck family see no other solution but to ally themselves with the new regime and murder the patriarch, old Baron Joachim, disgusted by the idea. Intrigue and machinations, betrayals and murders: the appointment of the new head of their steel empire will turn into a ritual in celebration of Evil, in which the corruption of the relationships between individuals echoes the cruelty and brutality of the political context. In this struggle for survival, against all odds, it is Martin – the incestuous and paedophiliac progeny of powerful Baroness Sophie – who will manage to eliminate all his opponents and become a zealous servant of the regime, ready to reign on the empire he inherited. He will however have to pay a high price, living a cold life irremediably devoid of love, goodness, and beauty.