SEVEN AGAINST THEBES by Aeschylus
NATIONAL THEATRE OF NORTHERN GREECE
The NTNG presents Aeschylus’ political tragedy, Seven Against Thebes, directed by the renowned Lithuanian director, Cezaris Graužinis and translated by the Greek poet Yorgos Blanas, one of the most successful performances of last year in Greece.
When his horrific deeds are revealed, Oedipus leaves the throne to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, who agreed to rule Thebes in rotation. However, when the time came for Polynices to take reign, Eteocles did not keep his promise. This provoked the wrath of Polynices, who allied with the king of Argos Adrastus and organized a military campaign against Thebes. Seven leaders of each of the two rival armies lined up on either side of the seven gates of Thebes. Eteocles–the tragedy’s only real protagonist–and Polynices end up facing each other outside the seventh gate of besieged Thebes as Eteocles tries to organize a counter attack in a battle which is destined to have no real victor.
An exploration of our commonly shared survival instincts and how these instincts are compatible with our fundamental need to remain human, despite our fears, insecurity, and despair.
▪ With English surtitles
The conflict between the two sons of Oedipus is the theme of Seven against Thebes. After his appalling actions were revealed to him, Oedipus left the throne to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices. The two agreed to rule Thebes alternately. However, when the time came for Polynices to take reign, Eteocles did not keep his promise. This provoked the wrath of Polynices, who allied with the king of Argos Adrastus and organised a military campaign against Thebes. Seven leaders from each of the two rival armies lined up on either side of the seven gates of Thebes. Eteocles and Polynices faced one another in front of the seventh gate.
Eteocles is the lonely main character of the tragedy. Thebes is under siege and he is trying to organise a counter-attack, in a battle doomed to end without a real winner.
Seven against Thebes is the third play of a trilogy which includes the plays Laius and Oedipus, as well as the satyr play The Sphinx, none of which have survived. It was first performed in 467 BCE, when the Athenians had still fresh in their minds the memory the Persian invasion on Greece and could identify Thebes as their homeland.
It seems, that all of us –not only people in Greece, but the people in the whole of Europe– are living with a feeling as if death threatening enemies are standing outside the fragile walls of our common miserable, but still comfortable, lives.
We don’t know the name of the enemy – our enemy has many masks, many names. Sometimes it even seems that our worst enemy has our own face, our own name.
We need a tragedy, in order to rediscover again that we are, nevertheless, humans and that our human fate is to be united. The iron and steel will turn to dust, we will remain in existence.
The creative team of Seven against Thebes are taking up the challenge to explore how the instinct of our common survival coincides with our need to remain human… which we have inherited from our ancestors and which we are obliged to pass to our own children, against fear, against insecurity, against desperation.
The production is dedicated to my son Alexis.
National Theatre of Northern Greece
The National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG), operating 56 years, is currently the country’s largest theatrical, as well as cultural organization, in broader terms. Comprising of 5 winter venues, 2 open-air theatres, and also organising Greek and international tours, it functions as an active cultural core since 1961.
The NTNG presents annually a programme that combines in-house productions with co-productions with other theatrical organisations and lodging of Greek and international guest performances. Parallel to the great tourneys that are scheduled every summer, the NTNG has reactivated the Macedonian–Thrace Unit, that tours around Northern Greece.
The NTNG Childrenand Youth Stages present, on an annual basis, performances of high aesthetic qualities for children and teenagers. Moreover, the NTNG offers educational programmes addressed to students of primary and secondary education, as well as workshops for Children and Teenagers.
The NTNG Drama School provides full theatre education and works as an incubator for young actors since 1973.
Promotion of new playwrights, playwrighting competitions, day long tributes, lectures, seminars, exhibitions are some of the parallel events that the NTNG organises as part of its educational policy.
Moreover, as part of its social policy, the NTNG organises free events for vulnerable social groups (at prisons, rehabilitation centres, hospitals etc.) corresponding to the needs of the society and the citizens who don’t have access to the theatrical praxis for various reasons.
As member of the Union of Theatres of Europe (www.union-theatres-europe.eu), the NTNG has strong international presence: it participates at international festivals or collaborates with theatres all over the world.
- Wednesday 12 July│Curium Ancient Theatre
- Thursday 13 July│Curium Ancient Theatre
Translated by Yorgos Blanas
Directed by Cezaris Graužinis
Set and costume design: Kenny MacLellan
Music: Dimitris Theocharis
Choreography – Movement: Edgen Lame
Lighting design: Alekos Yiannaros
Music Instruction: Panagiotis Barlas
Assistant to the director: Athina Samartzidou
Assistant to the set and costume designer: Maria Mylona
Production Co-ordinator: Filothei Eleftheriadou
Eteocles: Yannis Stankoglou
Antigone: Clio-Danae Othoneou
Ismene: Iovi Fragatou
Messenger: Giorgos Kafkas
Herald: Alexandros Tsakiris
Polynices: Giorgos Papandreou