S01E47 – ELECTRA / ORESTES by Comédie Française in Ancient Theatre of Epidavros – Epidaurus

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Ivo van Hove combines two Euripides plays that tell the story of Electra and Orestes, or how a brother and a sister meet and unite in the revenge.

After the immense success of Les Damnés, revived this season, Ivo van Hove is reunited with the Troupe for a new epic about the house of Atreus. Stating that all his projects are born from “love at first sight” for a text, he combines two Euripides plays that tell the story of Electra and Orestes in its continuity, or how a brother and a sister meet and unite in the revenge they foment against their mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. 
This new production recount an entire episode in the history of the house of Atreus, the last in a long cycle of murder and revenge. Electra and Orestes’ father Agamemnon was murdered by his wife and lover on his return from the Trojan War. Aegisthus now reigns in Argos and the young Orestes has been sent into exile. Electra takes place years later at a time when Aegisthus has called for the murder of Orestes. The latter, obeying an oracle of Apollo, presents himself as a stranger to his sister, with whom he plots to avenge their father. The second tragedy continues the story after the matricide committed by Orestes. The latter is hunted by the Erinyes and must answer for his act before justice.
Known for his ability to “unfold” texts on stage, the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam constantly renews his aesthetic and his relationship with actors. Claiming to not have a designated method, here he draws on the ancient to celebrate theatre as a social event and takes hold of the myth with a keen sense of its modernity. A myth which, after its initial Parisian run, will travel back to its land of origin to be performed in the exceptional setting of the ancient theatre of Epidaurus.

French translation published by Éditions Gallimard in the Folio théâtre collection

CREATIVE TEAM 2018-2020

Translation: Marie Delcourt-Curvers
Scenic version: Bart Van den Eynde et Ivo van Hove
Directed by: Ivo van Hove
Scenography and lights: Jan Versweyveld
Costumes: An D’Huys
Original music and sound concept: Eric Sleichim
Choreographic work: Wim Vandekeybus
Dramaturgy: Bart Van den Eynde
Assistant stage manager: Laurent Delvert
Assistant scenography: Roel Van Berckelaer
Assistant costumes: Sylvie Lombart
Assistant lights: François Thouret
Assistant sound: Pierre Routin
Assistant choreographic work: Laura Aris

2018-2019 cast on website: https://www.comedie-francaise.fr/en/events/electre-oreste18-19

(2019/2020 production currently being cast)