“I'd wanted to come to Greece for years, but something always prevented it from happening. But when I got the phone call from Stavros Tsakiris asking me to play Prometheus, I was scared stiff. And then I thought of my parents, who are now gone, telling me: 'Are you kidding Katerina? You don't say no to such an offer!',” Katerina Hadjipateras, known internationally as Kathryn Hunter, told a press conference in Athens on Wednesday.
The respected Greek-American, London-based actress is in the Greek capital rehearsing Tsakiris' production of Aeschylus' “Prometheus Bound” for the Regional Municipal Theater of Patra, which will be on stage at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus on August 9-10, as part of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival.
For fans of the theater, Hunter is a legend with a lengthy and illustrious career in the United Kingdom and numerous distinctions, including the Olivier Award. Hailed for her versatility and powerful presence, Hunter has played several classic male roles, including King Lear, Richard III and Timon of Athens. Prometheus will be a new challenge for the RADA-trained actress, who, however, said she feels that she's in “safe hands” with Tsakiris.
The respected Greek director is no less enthused by the collaboration. “We have been fortunate to watch her work,” he said.
Tsakiris defended the decision to cast a woman in the role of the Titan who defies the gods by giving man fire, saying that it wasn't for the sake of “exoticism.”
“It was the result of a thought, that Prometheus, as a representative of the human race, has no gender. That the god of men has no gender,” said the director.
The role of Narrator will be played by Nikitas Tsakiroglou, a veteran of the Greek stage who has himself played Prometheus twice in his career, while Dimitris Paitas is Hephaestus and Peggy Trikalioti is Io.
The sets for this high-caliber production have been designed by sculptor Kostas Varotsos and the costumes by Yiannis Metsikov, while Dimitris Dimitriadis is responsible for the new translation.
The performance at Epidaurus will include Greek and English surtitles. For details on transportation and tickets, visit www.greekfestival.gr.