Schauspielhaus Bochum – Johan Simons

by Euripides / A new version by Anne Carson



A weird play: the story of a woman who sacrifices her life to save that of her dying husband. Mourning; negotiations; arguments; who is not afraid of dying; who has more of a right to live. Finally, Heracles descends to the Underworld to bring Alcestis back: by now, though, she is a stranger to her family.

The Epidaurus debut of Dutch director Johan Simons, founder of the famous Theater Hollandia (1985) and one of the pioneers of European avant-garde theatre, is a world-class event. Previously featured in the Festival, initally in 2002 with Euripides’ Bacchae and subsequently in 2009 with Horváth’s Kasimir and Karoline, co-produced with his collaborator Paul Koek, Simons is noted for his musical approach on texts and his impressively minimalist aesthetics. In this new work, Simons attempts a contemporary take on Euripides’ Alcestis, drawing on the music of Gluck’s eponymous opera and placing four singers and an organ in lieu of the Chorus.

With Greek and English surtitles