CULTURE

Johan Simons opening Epidaurus Festival with ‘Alcestis’ on July 1-2

Johan Simons opening Epidaurus Festival with ‘Alcestis’ on July 1-2

The international premiere of Euripides’ “Alcestis” by pioneering Dutch director and Hollandia Theater co-founder Johan Simons will be opening this year’s Epidaurus Festival on July 1 and 2.

The play will only be performed at the ancient theater before traveling to Germany. It is a co-production between the Athens & Epidaurus Festival with the Schauspielhaus Bochum theater, where Simons has been artistic director since the 2018-2019 season.

Simons, who was born in 1946 and trained as a dancer and actor, has previously presented work in Greece at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, staging Euripides’ “Bacchae” in 2002 and Odon von Horvath’s “Kasimir and Karoline” in 2009, co-directed with his colleague Paul Koek, also one of the founders of the Hollandia. This is the first time he is staging a play at Epidaurus.

“Alcestis” is regarded as one of the most unusual of Euripides’ plays, balancing between tragedy and comedy. The play describes the myth of the Greek princess who sacrifices her life to save her husband, before Hercules returns to Hades to rescue her, now a stranger to her family.

Tickets ranging from 5 to 60 euros have already gone on sale online. For more information on this production and the festival’s program, visit aefestival.gr. [AMNA]