1 & 2 July / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Peace by Aristophanes
Have the gods abandoned Greece?
The Peloponnesian War has been raging for ten years, and the desperation and despondency are palpable. Trygaeus of Athens, a shrewd man, decides to take matters in his own hands: climbing astride a huge beetle, he flies up to the heavens for a word with Zeus.
Written in 421 BC, Peace, a paean to rural life in which Aristophanes condemns war and parodies the theatre of his own era, is as relevant today as it ever was.
Directing at Epidaurus for the first time, the sparkling comic actor, Petros Filippidis, plays the lead role amidst a cast of celebrated actors.
8-9 July / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
A half century of the State Theatre of Northern Greece. Fifty years of artistic creativity.
A seasoned and outstanding actor guides the younger generation of actors into the heart of ancient drama, stopping at key productions along the way.
The State Theatre of Northern Greece recalls its iconic productions at the ancient theatres of Philippi and Thasos, its first appearance at Epidaurus, magical evenings in the Forest Theatre with Thessaloniki stretched out below for a backdrop. A stroll through the theatrical past and present in a production which pays tribute to the greats of the Greek theatre.
15-16 July / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
The history of the theatre enacted on stage in an eclectic production which takes us back to the first stirrings of ancient Greek literature, and from there into the Roman period. Extracts from tragedies and comedies by Greek and Roman poets, choral dances and odes in praise of gods and heroes, mimes and elements from the Roman arena—impressive games, gladiatorial matches, acrobatics and spectacular performances with fire — together form a colourful collage!
A production that engages with the present day through the parallels it draws with the ancient past, and which alternates tragic with comic and lets contemporary audiences in on the joke.
22-23 July / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Medea by Euripides
“I am undone, I have resigned all joy in life, and I want to die”, Medea exclaims. A dark and alluring creature, the barbarian witch of Colchis, grand-daughter to the Sun himself, is driven by her love for Jason to follow him to Corinth. When Jason betrays her, she devises the cruellest possible punishment.
A tragedy of love and revenge, Medea (431 BC) uses the fathomless clash between cultures and the sexes to force us to engage with a number of complex issues.
Supported by an exceptional cast, Amalia Moutousi plays the title role accompanied by an outstanding group of Greek actors.
29-30 July / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Richard III, by William Shakespeare
The Bridge Project begun in 2009 as a three year bridge of artistic cooperation between the Old Vic Theatre (London), the Brooklyn Academy of Music (USA) and production company Neal Street Productions. The Bridge Project is hosted for the second time at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, following The Winter's Tale in 2009, bringing to stage important theatrical personalities.
In the final season of the Bridge Project, Sam Mendes returns to direct Kevin Spacey (Artistic Director of the Old Vic), in the lead role of Richard III. This transatlantic cooperation once again reunites the two men, for the first time since their collaboration on American Beauty, for which they had both received BAFTA and Academy Awards.
The Bridge Project, will once again feature leading American and British actors and will embark on a world tour, following it's premier at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
Sam Mendes, who founded and was artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse for a decade, has also directed theatrical performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the West End and Broadway. His cinematographic carrier includes movies such as Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road.
Kevin Spacey, who is also the artistic director of the Old Vic, has recently appeared in the performances Inherit the wind, Speed-the-Plow, A Mood for the Misbegotten and Richard II at the Old Vic.
5-6 August / Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Herakles by Euripides
“…to civilize the world, he says!”
(Amphitryon, Prologue, verse 20)
“Herakles seems to be of the last Greek generation – a long, long time ago – who believed in and fought for Ideas. To be betrayed in the end by friends and enemies alike. And it is with the absolute taste of betrayal on his lips that he is led to disaster. And then he will attempt death.”
Herakles is a staggering work, and one of Euripides’ least-performed plays. Which only serves to intensify the anticipation in advance of this production, only the second in the history of the National Theatre of Greece, directed by Michail Marmarinos.