Pantelis Flatsousis

Thebes: A Global Civil War
Inspired by Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes

Which processes of memory are being activated when entire societies are being faced with enormous collective and unhealed personal traumas of civil war? Can we narrate them on stage, using the ancient myth as a springboard in order to create a new universal narrative?

In Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes, a man embarks on a military campaign against his brother and city. Ultimately, they both die, killing each other. The war may not be exactly civil; it is most certainly fratricidal though. In today’s historical circumstances, where the local and the global meet, could the bleak possibility of a World War III look like a global civil war?

Following National Fashion Show, presented on the occasion of the 1821 Bicentennial tribute, Pantelis Flatsousis once again investigates the connection between the stage and recent history, using documentary theatre as a vehicle and this time focusing on the phenomenon of civil war. Presenting onstage narratives of people who experienced civil war in their countries in recent years, the performance, specially conceived and commissioned to be presented at the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus as part of the Contemporary Ancients cycle, explores the reality of civil war through its impact on what is, arguably, its most sensitive aspect: individual memory; that place where individual and collective identities interact to such an extent they can be viewed as “geopolitical identities”.

Four professional actors from different countries (Bosnia, Greece, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon) are transformed into narrators/mediators between the local and the global, the topical and the eternal, in a performance walking a fine line between documentary and fiction, theatre and cinema, in dialogue with Seven Against Thebes. Jointly with the spectators, they investigate why war, though loathed by everybody, continues to shape human destiny.

grape Greek Agora of Performance is an exciting new initiative by the Athens Epidaurus Festival aiming to establish a platform for Greek artists to communicate with the international Theatre and Dance scene, giving them the opportunity to present their works to representatives and artistic directors of international festivals and cultural institutions abroad. The platform presents 14 new productions in two periods: 3 – 8 July & 18 – 22 July.

grape is open to the general public and is part of the main artistic programme of the Athens Epidaurus Festival. The performances included are also scheduled on dates outside the duration of the platform.

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