Oresteia 2019-06-12T15:40:11+00:00

National Theatre of Greece - Io Voulgaraki, Lilly Meleme, Georgia Mavragani

Oresteia
by Aeschylus

A bold, original concept by the National Theatre of Greece: Oresteia, the only extant ancient drama trilogy is presented in Epidaurus in a single performance by three directors in their Epidaurus debut, featuring a single cast and crew: Agamemnon by Io Voulgaraki, The Libation Bearers by Lilly Meleme, and The Eumenides by Georgia Mavragani.

Agamemnon
Directed by Io Voulgaraki

In the first part of Aeschylus’ trilogy, King Agamemnon returns to Argos, shortly after the end of the Trojan War. Agamemnon triumphantly marches into the city and his palace, flaunting the Trojan princess and Apollo priestess Cassandra as his captive. Clytemnestra welcomes her husband, all pomp and circumstance. However, it is quickly revealed that her enthusiasm conceals a well-orchestrated plan. She has decided to take revenge for the murder of their daughter, Iphigenia, sacrificed by Agamemnon to get the Greek ships sailing about ten years ago. The red carpet Clytemnestra rolls out for Agamemnon’s return foreshadows the impending bloodbath, as she and her accomplice/lover, Aegisthus, plot to murder the king and his concubine.

The Libation Bearers
Directed by Lilly Meleme

In the second part of Aeschylus’ trilogy, Electra take centre stage, mourning her murdered father and obsessively anticipating the return of her brother, Orestes, her beacon of hope, with whom she plans to take revenge for Agamemnon. In the beginning of the play, Electra mourns over her father’s grave. The Libation Bearers, the women of the Chorus accompanying her, add to her laments. There, Electra is reunited with her brother, who returns after many years abroad, together with his loyal friend, Pylades, both disguised as outsiders. Upon seeing her in mourning, Orestes realizes they will be allies and reveals himself to her. Things escalate very quickly: aided by Electra, Orestes and Pylades pretend to be foreigners bringing the dead Orestes’ ashes home to Clytemnestra. After Clytemnestra welcomes Orestes, he reveals his identity to her and subsequently murders both her and her lover and accomplice, Aegisthus. The Furies arrive, relentlessly pursuing Orestes until the moment he will be acquitted at Areopagus.

The Eumenides
Directed by Georgia Mavragani

The third part of the trilogy revolves around Orestes’ pursuit by the Furies and the holy trial he must submit himself to in order to be acquitted so that the Furies can be appeased and transformed into Eumenides. The Areopagus court is also established in this play, often considered to be a foundational play of Athenian Democracy.

All three parts with Greek and English surtitles