Εθνικό ΘέατροΕθνικό Θέατρο

Bacchae

Euripides

From 02.08.2024

SUMMER TOUR

Euripides’ Bacchae, the tragedy of Greeks, rulers and people, according to Jan Kott, was written in the third decade of the Peloponnesian War, when History was now out of control, and tells the story of Dionysus’ arrival in Thebes. Euripides wrote it during his years in Macedonia, when he came into contact with the cult of Dionysus.

When the god Dionysus arrives in Thebes, King Pentheus refuses to acknowledge that his first cousin is a god and bans the new religion. His defiance excites the wrath of the god, who, in a tragic reversal of persecutor and persecuted, leads Pentheus to destruction at the hands of his own mother.

The play is characterised by strict formal consistency and enormous inner power, while at the same time demonstrating Euripides’ interest in mysticism and ecstasy. The chief dramatic themes of the tragedy are the possibilities of the spirit, human virtue, self-awareness, caution and fallacy, and the rational and the irrational, all highlighted through the opposition of man and god, the same opposition that gives rise to the tragic conflict of the drama.

 

Director’s note
Euripides wrote The Bacchae towards the end of his life, in the late 5th century BC. In it, he brings back to the stage the god Dionysus, the founder of the genre. The god of the theatre, of otherness, of dismemberment and amalgamation, of happiness and disaster, sets in motion a game that Euripides ends with an abandoned body that has been torn apart.

If what is torn apart on stage is the acceptance of otherness, does this mean that through a rite of passage, a collective act, we have lost the prospect of being open to the Other, our own and the world’s? Will our pieces never be put together again? Are we condemned, like Pentheus, to live hemmed in within our well-fortified individuality, or else to be dismembered? Are there no longer bridges to connect us with one another, with the Other, with the otherness of our feelings, our ideas, our innermost thoughts, with the absurdity within us, with the absurdity of the world? Only in our skin is there safety. Anything either completely outside us, or completely inside us, will forever remain foreign, inviolable, unspoken, unknown, and will therefore be met with violence. Is violence the only language we can understand? A violence that is closed, impenetrable and absolute, a violence that is not open to any kind of initiation to be unlocked, understood, endured. The avalanche of images on the internet, the natural disasters, the bombs, the mutilated bodies and dead children in the media, the dead and soulless selfies, the uncontrolled flows of data, people, products – can we no longer bear spirituality, transcendence, uplift, because the only god we can understand is the god of the old covenant, the vengeful god, the punitive god? Is that who we deserve?

Or is the dismembered body at the same time a puzzle that can be completed, a construct that shows us its parts, a spectacle? And is it up to us, the audience, whether and how to assemble it?

Thanos Papakonstantinou

 

Information

Summer Tour

EPIDAURUS ANCIENT THEATRE
VIP €55 • ZONE Α΄ €50 • ZONE Β΄ €30/ SCHOOL STUDENTS (UP TO 18 Y.O.) €13/OVER 65Y. €22/ GROUPS €22 • UPPER TIER €25, €20, €15/ Restricted view€10, GROUPS €15 • UNEMPLOYED €5 •UPPER TIER €5 (FREE ENTRANCE FOR MEMBERS OF THE GREEK ACTORS UNION/THEATROLOGISTS)/RESIDENTS OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF LYGOURIO(Friday) €5) •DISABLED €5 

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifTicket information and purchase for the performances at the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre: www.aefestival.grwww.more.com 

With Greek and English surtitles

Supported by

Bacchae

Euripides

SUMMER TOUR

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