‘Andromache’ takes the Epidaurus stage

Actress Leda Tassopoulou, currently starring in Euripides’ tragedy «Andromache,» on at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus tonight, is familiar with Euripides, her favorite tragic poet, and has interpreted nine of his leading parts. The play, a joint production of the Spyros Evangelatos Amphi-Theater and the Volos Municipal Regional Theater, has three stories (the struggles of Andromache, Hermione and Neoptolemus) but a happy end. It is not staged a lot, maybe because Andromache disappears halfway through the play. Tassopoulou, who has had her fair share of leading roles, has lately turned to directing, but insists that above all she is an actress. «I am fond of Euripides because he took a serious interest in women. He has been called a misogynist, but I believe he adored women and that is why he knew them deeply; he even almost justified Medea for going to such lengths. Andromache’s part is written with great generosity.» Andromache is a character Tassopoulou approached for the first time, a clever woman who took fate into her own hands. «Her fate is hard, especially considering her past.» Former wife of the Trojan prince Hector, she became Neoptolemus’ slave in Fthia and bore him a son. Neoptolemus marries Menelaus’ daughter, who tries, with her father, to kill Andromache and her son. «Yet she manages to save herself and start a new life in another city.» When asked what she preferred about Andromache, Tassopoulou replied that she could put logic ahead of her emotions when needed. «She knows where to stop so as to achieve what she wants. She is a true woman, but her dynamism has strong male features, more than Medea, who goes as far as murder. Andromache is Euripides’ example of a woman.» The play will travel to Patras and Volos, but will not come to Athens. Tassopoulou is worried about which play to direct in the winter. «I love directing, but I have trouble finding a play. I can’t stand the sick reality found in many plays, it may be part of reality but it’s not the whole of it. I don’t think it’s creative, it’s a kind of violence on violence; one is not improved by seeing it.»