Two national theatres, the National Theatre of Greece and the Cyprus Theatre Organisation, join forces to stage an iconic play – a tragedy about war and its dead, but also about existential angst, dignity, faith and endurance – in a new translation by the poet Giorgos Koropoulis.
Forty-three years after the National Theatre of Greece’s only production of The Suppliants, directed by Takis Mouzenidis, and 29 years since the Cyprus Theatre Organisation’s first production at Epidaurus, directed by Nikos Charalampous, the play is brought to Epidaurus by the Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Stathis Livathinos, in a collaboration between artists from both countries.
The mothers of the Argive soldiers who lost their lives fighting with Polyneices at Thebes pray at the altar of Demeter in Eleusis. With them is Adrastus, king of Argus. They seek the help of the Athenian king, Theseus, because the Thebans are refusing to relinquish the dead so that they can be buried.
Theseus responds to the just demand by preparing a message for Creon, the king of Thebes, but before he can send it, a Theban messenger arrives with a message from Creon: he asks him to expel Adrastus and the mothers or Thebes will attack Athens.
Theseus leads the Athenian army against the Thebans and brings the bodies of the dead soldiers to Eleusis, where they are burnt. In a delirium, Capaneus’ widow Evadne throws herself on the funeral pyre and is burnt together with her husband. Mothers and children make their way home with the ashes of their loved ones.
Written in 422 BCE, the tragedy is a clear echo of the Battle of Delium, which had taken place two years earlier. There, the Athenians, defeated by Sparta’s ally, Thebes, were prevented for some days from claiming their dead and burying them.
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Tickets (Epidaurus Festival):
- Athens & Epidaurus Festival Box Office: 39 Panepistimiou Str. (Pesmazoglou Arcade/ Stoa Pesmazoglou)
- Public Stores Network
- Call Center [Athens & Epidaurus Festival]: 210 8938112 (Monday to Sunday 09:00-21:00)
- Online: www.greekfestival.gr & www.ticketmaster.gr
- Group purchases (20 persons)[ Group Bookings Dept. of the National Theatre of Greece]: 30 2107001468 & email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Disabled Seats Tickets to email: email@example.com
A joint production between the National Theatre of Greece and the Cyprus Theatre Organisation
Alekos AnastasiouLighting design
Melina PeonidouMusic coach
Vassilis AndreouAssistant director
Marina MyrtaliDirecting assistant
Maria KalamaraDesign assistant
mothers of Argive soldiers
Giorgos Dousosclarinet, saxophone, kaval, duduk
Alexandros Drymonitiselectric guitar, electronics
Giannis Messalasyayli tanbur
Sofia Efkleidoucello (instead of Giannis Messalas in the performances in Cyprus)
Konstantinos Sifakisdouble bass (instead of Dimitris Tigkas in the performances in Cyprus)