Comédie-Française - Tiago Rodrigues

Hecuba, not Hecuba

Tiago Rodrigues © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


After the triumphant reception of Electra / Orestes directed by Ivo van Hove in 2019, the leading company of Comédie-Française comes back to Epidaurus, this time with the much talked about Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, the new director of the Avignon Festival.

In his first collaboration with Comédie-Française, Tiago Rodriguez takes on the story of Hecuba. Adjusting it in his ‘head-on’ idiom, he intertwines an ancient human being’s drama with that of a modern-day heroine always on the same ageless canvas –in particular, a Trojan woman’s and a present-day actress and mother’s. Tiago Rodrigues is used to saying that his writing does not have to do with the theatre but the actresses and actors that make up the theatrical play. Here, an actress rehearses Euripides’ Hecuba as she holds the role of Priam’s widow. After the defeat of Troy, Hecuba has lost everything: her husband, her throne, her freedom, and, what’s most tragical, almost all her children – she is a woman seeking for justice.

The tragic myth nonetheless meets the actress’ real life in a gut-wrenching way. Her autistic teenage son suffers abuse in the hands of the staff at the institution he is committed and she trusted. Whereas the parties responsible try to cover up the case, she goes public. The rehearsals are ambiguously interjected with the judicial investigation.

Within an idiosyncratic, borderline context, the two worlds are being juxtaposed in a harrowing and shattering concoction of myth and reality, theatre and justice.

The performance will be presented in Epidaurus immediately after its premiere in July at the Avignon Festival.


With Greek and English surtitles