CULTURE

‘Hecuba’ at Epidaurus

A loud cry against war in a tragedy in search of stimulating directorial solutions. This is the essence of «Hecuba» – an Amphitheater production of Euripides’ play heading to the Epidaurus Festival this Friday and Saturday – according to Spyros Evangelatos, who undertook the play’s direction and translation. «It is a sensational text. A tragic piece of work with extraordinary sayings, which, going beyond cold didacticism, reveals the pain and blood of experience,» noted Evangelatos at a recent press conference. The lead role is interpreted by seasoned actress Despina Bembedeli, who only recently replaced Anna Synodinou – the latter was forced to step down due to health issues. «It was a race against time in order to make it and I feel much more weight on my shoulders compared to what I would have had to deal with had I accepted the role under different circumstances,» noted Bembedeli, adding that «the fact that I have interpreted the same role in the past means nothing, since I have to follow an entirely different directorial approach. I would not have made it without the psychological support of the entire troupe and Spyros Evangelatos’s guidance.» Lyda Tassopoulou, who interprets Polyxena, described her role as a dance with death: «I play a woman who knows she’s heading toward sacrifice; it’s like a love affair, a desire for what lies ahead.» Giorgos Kouroupos’s original music score leans more toward the dramatic than the lyrical, with an emphasis on the music’s dramatic qualities rather than the tunes and the songs, or even high-quality interpretations on the part of the musicians. Agni Doutsis’s stage design is imposing, abstract and elegant, while the costumes stem from a mix of different eras. Evangelatos’s new translation aims to render Euripides’ thoughts more accessible to the public. Euripides’ «Hecuba,» an Amphitheater production at the Epidaurus Festival on Friday and Saturday. For tickets, contact the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, tel 27530.22026 or Athens Festival Box Office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.322.1459.