For the 17th year, a theatrical July in Cyprus will brighten the summer nights of theatre friends from around the world, giving them the chance to enjoy several presentations of ancient Greek drama at the Paphos Ancient Odeon, the Curium Amphitheatre in Limassol and the Makarios III Amphitheatre in Nicosia, during this month-long, world-class international theatre festival.
The performances, chosen for the originality of their approach, preserve the uniqueness of ancient Greek drama while also bearing the distinctive cultural traits of the country from which they come, offering to the public a multi-cultural entertainment of high aesthetic standards.
The International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama is co-organized by the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, Cultural Services and the Cyprus Tourism Organization.
All foreign language performances will be surtitled in English and Greek. All Greek performances will have English surtitles.
The Festival’s Selection Committee consists of representatives of the Organizers Nantia Stylianou, Aristodimos Anastasiades and Marina Tryfonidou, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cultural Services, Irena Epaminondou, Cyprus Tourism Organization and Giorgos Neophytou, Magdalena Zira and Minas Tigkilis, Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute. The actor and director Despina Mpempedeli participates at the Committee ex officio this year.
ENTRANCE: €17, €10 (Senior Citizens, Students and National Guard)
All performances start at 21:00
For information: 22674920, 99388160
For Limassol and Paphos: 97626798
PALESTINIAN NATIONAL THEATRE
TUE 2 JULY PAPHOS ANCIENT ODEON
WED 3 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
The performance won the CRITICS AWARD for best foreign production
Performance in Arabic with English and Greek surtitles
Directed by Adel Hakim with the actors of the Palestinian National Theatre.
Music: Trio Joubran
Why a Palestinian Antigone?
Because the piece speaks of the relationship between human beings and the land, of the love that each individual has for his native land, of the bond with the land.
Antigone “ I am made for love, not for hate”
Oedipus was the former ruler of Thebes. At his death, his sons, Eteocles and Polynices, decide to share power between them: each will rule for one year. Eteocles becomes king, but after a year, he refuses to give up his place to Polynices. So Polynices gathers an army with the help of the Argives and attacks Thebes. The two brothers end up by killing each other. After this fratricidal war, Creon, their uncle, becomes king. He decides to give full burial rights to Eteocles and to throw Polynices’ corpse to the dogs. Antigone is opposed to this decision. She wants to bury her brother Polynices, in contravention to the law laid down by Creon. So Creon condemns Antigone to death. Haemon, son of Creon and fiancé to Antigone, then tries to save the young woman he loves. The tragedy builds, and war is declared between the dead and the living, state decree and divine law, political duty and family loyalty.
TEATRO DO BOLHÃO, PORTUGAL
TUE 9 JULY CURIUM ANCIENT THEATRE LIMASSOL
WED 10 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
Performance in Portugal with English and Greek surtitles
The famous Japanese director Kuniaki Ida returns to Teatro do Bolhão, Porto, Portugal, to stage one of the founding texts of Western Culture – Sophocles Oedipus Rex, considered the “perfect tragedy” by Aristotle. Continuing its nuclear project to disseminate the fundamental texts of Western dramaturgy, the company proposes this new staging of Oedipus, in the desire to look at the classic text, from its timeless reality, to the reality of our time.
In a town decimated and brought to collapse by a murderous plague, King Oedipus obsessively seeks the truth that will eventually destroy him. But the legend of the man condemned by the gods at birth to murder his father and marry his mother also contains the myth of the hero who refuses to close his eyes to reality and chooses to blind himself when he finally sees the truth.
BAUMSTRASSE THEATRE GROUP, GREECE
TUE 16 JULY PAPHOS ANCIENT ODEON
WED 17 JULY CURIUM ANCIENT THEATRE LIMASSOL
THURS 18 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
A performance in Greek with English surtitles
Directed by Martha Frintzila
This performance focuses on the power of live music and the influence it has on people, and it is presented as a healing music event by a theatre group of 30 actors, actresses and musicians.
God Dionysos returns in human form to Thebes with the intention of imposing his cult. His mother’s Semele’s sisters, including Agaue, mother of the king of Thebes, Pentheus, at first refuse to recognize his divinity, so he drives them wild with holy frenzy. Pentheus, the young and stubborn king, arrests and imprisons the subversive and dangerous Dionysos, thinking that he is a priest of this new religion. But the god soon frees himself and manages to persuade Pentheus to disguise himself as a woman Bacchante in order to spy on the women’s secret rituals in the forest. But when the women discover him hiding in a tree and spying, they tear him in pieces, with his mother Agaue leading the slaughter. Agaue returns to the city with her son’s head in her hands thinking that it is a lion’s head. When she comes to her senses she realizes what she has done. The play ends with the appearance of Dionysos, as a god now, who foretells the future destinies of the heroes and consolidates his worship.
WED 24 JULY CURIUM ANCIENT THEATRE LIMASSOL
THURS 25 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
A performance in Spanish with English and Greek surtitles.
A breath-taking Flamenco version of the Greek Tragedy Medea , with live music and dancing that has won :
The Award “Duque de Lerma” for The Best Theatrical Event
Special Award of The Audience
Award “Duque de Lerma” for The Best Theatrical Staging
Award “Duque de Lerma” at The Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Play, to Pilar Jiménez by Medea.
Flamenco is always linked to the tragic in its deepest sense; tragedy is the source and birthplace of Flamenco music. This show is born of their union. Euripides’ words are mixed with the styles of Flamenco with music and rhythm.
An exposed, vulnerable foreigner, Medea becomes invulnerable, during the course of events that happen. Medea’s husband Jason leaves his wife for a young girl. In her despair she decides to destroy Jason. A vivid and touching play, following a woman’s pain as it becomes unbearable and leads her to revenge.
BUILT-UP AREA, CYPRUS
SAT 27 JULY CURIUM ANCIENT THEATRE LIMASSOL
MON 29 JULY PAPHOS ANCIENT ODEON
WED 31 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
A performance in Greek with English surtitles
Directed by Panayiotis Larkou
Three performers and a chorus will act on stage, as in the ancient times in a production that will reveal the ancient text in all its glory. Euripides’ commentary on the society of ancient Athens will find its modern reflection on today’s realities, interpreted by young Cypriot artists.
Medea, daughter of Aietes, king of Kolchis, and grand-daughter of the Sun-god, leaves her father and murders her brother to help Jason to take the treasure of her family, the Golden Fleece. To crown all, she has remained a faithful wife to him and has born him two sons. But he betrays her. He decides to abandon her for the daughter of Creon, king of Corinth. And as if this was not enough Creon orders her banishment from the country. She decides to destroy Jason and all who are connected with him: Creon’s daughter, Creon himself and her two children. And when Jason swears vengeance against her and tries to force the doors of the house, Medea suddenly appears above, born on a fiery chariot sent by her grandfather, the Sun-god.
AMFIKTIO THEATRE, CYPRUS
MON 29 JULY MAKARIOS III AMPHITHEATRE NICOSIA
TUE 30 JULY CURIUM ANCIENT THEATRE LIMASSOL
WED 31 JULY PAPHOS ANCIENT ODEON
A performance in Greek with English surtitles
Directed by the famous Cypriot director and actor Nicos Charalambous and interpreted by a group of celebrated Cypriot actors and actresses.
It is impossible to resist the charm of this play, which is as captivating as Helen herself. The delightful exchanges between the characters, the strong sense of atmosphere, together with Helen’s grace and wit create a splendid work of art. A play written in a good humour which is infectious, in a poetic mood which quickens both eye and heart, yet a play full of puzzles.
The Spartan Queen Helen is in Egypt while the events of the Trojan War are in process. The exiled Greek Teucer, arriving in Egypt, informs her that her husband , King Menelaus, has drowned. The information is false, since a stranger arrives in Egypt, who is no other than Menelaus himself. It is difficult for him to believe his wife Helen is the same woman he finds in Egypt, because he thinks he has hidden Helen in a cave in Troy. As it turns out, only a phantom of Helen was in Troy, since the goddesses Athena and Hera hid Helen in Egypt and replaced the real Helen with an eidolon. Helen and Menelaus reunite and manage to escape from Theoclymenus, King of Egypt who wishes to marry Helen himself.