CULTURE

Tragedies’ reconstruction staged at Epidaurus Theater

The Cyprus Theater Organization has acquired a reputation for staging unusual productions, its insistence on texts by Menander being rather indicative. This year’s summer production will be no different: The Organization has chosen to perform three works by Aeschylus, «Myrmidons-Nereids-Phrygians,» of which only few extracts survive (46 verses from «Myrmidons,» seven from «Nereids» and 20 from «Phrygians»). The verse completion and the translation were both carried out by Ilias Malandris. The production will have its Greek premiere tonight, at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, where it is also scheduled to be performed tomorrow night. The trilogy focuses on the mythological personality of Achilles and on the way he dealt with the death of his friend Patroclus. «Myrmidons» deals with the slaying of Patroclus during the Trojan War. In «Nereids» Achilles mourns his dead friend and is determined to take his revenge on Trojan prince Hector, who is responsible for Patroclus’ death. Finally, «Phrygians» deals with the efforts of Priam, king of Troy, to regain his son’s body from Achilles. Malandris’s undertaking is based on an unfinished study by Bruno Snell, which was first presented at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1954, and drew on information in texts by various ancient writers. «This reconstruction is rather like research,» said Malandris. Director Nikos Haralambous added that a kind of «controlled freedom» prevailed during rehearsals, «in the sense of experimentation,» without permitting any modernizations. The part of Achilles is played by both the well-known tenor Mario Frangoulis and Achilleas Grammatikopoulos, who are joined by Jenny Gaitanopoulou (as Thetis, Achilles’ mother) and Despina Bebedeli (as Hecuba, Priam’s wife) and others, including Theodoros Michailidis, Spyros Stavrinidis, Eftychios Poulaidis, Neoklis Neocleous, Stelios Kafkaridis and Stella Fyrogeni. The sets are by Andis Partzilis, the costumes by Stavros Antonopoulos and the music is by Michalis Christodoulidis. The choreography is by Lia Haraki and Evi Afxentiou was the music coach.