Announcement of the Epidaurus Festival Programme 2018: “Electra” by Sophocles - National Theatre of Greece,
Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
20 & 21 July 2018
Direction: Thanos Papakonstantinou (Cast TBA.) Director’s note: “Written in the shadow of the Peloponnesian War, “Electra” is one of Sophocles’ most brutal plays. From the very first scene, the return of matricide Orestes, to the final scene with the victorious battle-cries of the chorus, the entire play is structured as an interplay of light and darkness; a battle of contradictions built around a trial, a violated balance and the need to redress that balance. Sophocles invites us to watch the workings of the natural world – the law of retaliation – through the lens of civil conflict.
Sophocles is not interested in the morality of the issue at hand. Whether balance will be restored in a peaceful or violent manner is irrelevant. Violence pervades human relationships. Violence breeds violence: wrongdoing invites retaliation. The fact that revenge here, in the form of matricide, goes far beyond what is normally expected in a so-called civilized society is also irrelevant. Sophocles’ “Electra” calls for retribution rather than justice”. Thanos Papakonstantinou