1984-1985 National Theatre of Northern Greece
Trachiniae - Alcestis - Euripides, Sophocles
Opening: Theatro Dassous, 14/06/1984
Two ancient dramas with common thematic shafts (love, death) in a united performance from two different directors. Trachiniae: This tragedy is concerned with Heracles' tragic end. For fifteen months the hero has been away from Trachis, where his family is staying. His wife, Dianeira, is worried and sends their eldest son, Hyllos, to find out where his father is. Meanwhile, the herald Lichas, arrives with a number of captive girls, to tell that Heracles will soon return as conqueror from Oechalia. However, Dianeira, learns from another messenger, that her husband has made, this war, merely to obtain king Egypros' young and beautiful daughter, Iole, who in now among the captives. When the unhappy woman hears this, as she wishes to keep Heracles for herself, she sends him by Lichas a new robe, which, in her innocence, she has dyed, with a love philtre at the advice, of the centaur Nessos. Meanwhile, something makes her suspect that the supposed philtre, is in fact lethal. Her suspicions are confirmed by the return of Hyllos, who, full of rage with his mother and grief for the fate of Heracles, reveals that the robe was fatal: it is devouring the hero's flesh. Dianeira enters silently into the palace and takes her own life. Soon Heracles is brought in, sunk in lethargy, in a pitiable condition. When he comes to himself, he asks Hyllos to bring him face to face with Dianeira to avenge himself. But he learns about the Centaur's philtre, and connects it with an ancient prophecy of Zeus of Dodona about his death, and knows that his end has come. He adjures his son to marry Iole, and gives him his final instructions for the preparation of his funeral pyre. Alcestis: At Appollo's request, the Fates have agreed that Admetus, King of Pherae, would not die, as he has been doomed, if a substitute, were found to take his place. As neither of his old parents, is willing to do so, Alcestis, Admetus' young wife, accepts the sacrifice, and, in one of the first scenes, after a long and moving farewell speech to her husband and children, she dies. During the preparation for the funeral, Heracles arrives at the palace, but Admetus conceals from his friend his wife's death, because he should refuse to accept the hospitality offered to him. But when the ring and the Chorus have left for the burial, Heracles, in a state of merriment, is informed of what has happened and, deeply moaned, decides to go and snatch Alcestis from the hands of death. At the final scene of the play, Admetus' mourning is interrupted by Heracles, who has come accompanied by a silent veiled woman-Alcestis.
6 performances - 8.714 spectators
Theatro Dassous (14/07/1984 - 15/07/1984)
Ancient Theatre of Philippi, Kavala (04/08/1984 - 05/08/1984)
Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus (25/08/1984 - 26/08/1984)