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AJAX by Sophocles

AJAX by Sophocles


  • Friday, August 5

    Curium Ancient Theatre

  • Saturday, August 6

    Curium Ancient Theatre

Performances start at

Please arrive at Curium Ancient Theatre before 20:00



100 minutes

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Sophocles’ tragedy Ajax is presented by the National Theatre of Greece, under the direction of Argyris Xafis and featuring an outstanding cast and crew.

In this tragedy, which was presented around 440 BC and is set during the tenth year of the Trojan War, Ajax, the greatest warrior of the Greek camp, following the death of Achilles, lays claim to the dead hero’s armour, but the Greek leaders decide to award it to Odysseus. Deeply offended by this terrible injustice, he takes his sword and goes out into the night to wreak revenge, but Athena makes him go mad, turning his anger into a wild rage which he unleashes onto the flocks of the Greeks, slaughtering them. When he realizes what he has done, his dignity cannot bear the humiliation and he commits suicide.

Ajax, central among Sophocles’ surviving tragedies, was written in peaceful times. However, the stage for the Peloponnesian War was already being set. Once an admired warrior on a par with Achilles, Ajax ends up becoming a deadly enemy of the army leaders and a pawn in the hands of gods, unable to grasp the spirit of a newly emerging era. This ancient tragedy does not recount the fall of the hero but his unique, posthumous redemption and glorification.


  • Translation

    Nikos A. Panagiotopoulos

  • Direction

    Argyris Xafis

  • Adaptation

    Aspasia-Maria Alexiou, Argyris Xafis

  • Set design

    Maria Panourgia

  • Costume design

    Ioanna Tsami

  • Music

    Kornilios Selamsis

  • Choreography

    Hara Kotsali

  • Lighting design

    Alekos Anastasiou

  • Assistant director

    Maria Savvidou

  • Music coach

    Melina Peonidou

  • Vocal preparation

    Apostolos Kitsos

  • Dramaturg

    Aspasia-Maria Alexiou

  • First directing assistant

    Maya Kyriazi

  • Second directing assistant

    Vasiliki Athanasopoulou

  • Assistant to the Set designer

    Sofia Theodoraki

Cast (in alphabetical order):

  • Menelaus

    Giannis Dalianis

  • Agamemnon

    Nikos Hatzopoulos

  • Odysseus

    Dimitris Imellos

  • Athena

    Despina Kourti

  • Eurysaces

    Tassos Mikelis

  • Tecmessa

    Evi Saoulidou

  • Ajax

    Stathis Stamoulakatos

  • Teucer

    Christos Stylianou

  • Chorus

    Asimina Anastasopoulou,
    Eirini Boudali,
    Dimitris Georgiadis,
    Erato Karathanasi,
    Afroditi Katsarou,
    Lambros Konstanteas,
    Fanis Kosmas,
    Efstathia Lagiokapa,
    Alkiviadis Maggonas,
    Fotis Stratigos

  • Musicians on stage

    Menelaos Moraitis (tuba),
    Manos Ventouras (french horn),
    Spyros Vergis (trombone)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (44)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (55)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (56)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (57)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (62)

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  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (75)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (76)

  • Αίας PR photo by © Karol Jarek (81)


    “How long is forever?”

    The first word of Ajax is “Αεί” meaning “Always”. There is no other work by Sophocles that is so preoccupied by time as a theme. A little later, the chorus sings of time’s therapeutic and revelatory properties. However, Ajax sees the world as a fluid universe without its healing powers. Here only one thing is certain: uncertainty. There is no exception to this law.

    The woman that once was his spoils of war now adores him.

    The Greeks that once were his friends and comrades now hate him.

    Odysseus, whom he hates most of all, now pities him.

    And “by coincidence”, Ajax shares the same destructive fate as his worst enemy, Hector.

    Ajax sees the world as it actually is and, in his attempt, to swim against the tide, he finds himself. He is driven by his inner demon, his “eternal destiny”. In order to remain Ajax he must cease to be. He must take his own life, escaping choice, chance and change. “The rest is to be said to the dead in Hades” are his final words, as he becomes a myth for all eternity, passing from the ephemeral to the everlasting.

    In this production, we aim to take advantage of the countless possibilities that present themselves while exploring what it truly means to have a play unfold in a time of war, and how these possibilities are conveyed in stage poetry beyond a literal description of war’s horrors. This is the core of my thinking in choosing a mixed chorus. Moreover, how should the endlessness and pointlessness of the Trojan War after nine whole years be presented theatrically? A war -much alike many present wars- aiming to over in fifteen days.

    It is a terribly modern play. And by an unfortunately awful coincidence for me, a personal one. I want to dedicate this production to my father, whom I tragically lost a few months ago. And exactly as in Ajax, we had to endure a cruel and interminable wait for his burial. Sophocles captures how the world will be from now on, a world without Ajax. Without heroes. The speeches and dialogues after he is gone are unheroic. Full of cynicism, cheap threats, vindictiveness and shouting. Any sign of lyricism dies with Ajax. There is no greatness. Even death gradually seems more realistic. Though absent, he remains dynamically present in a world full of small people – exactly as the chorus said in the parodos: “The small without the great are an unguarded fortress”. At the same time, we are entering a more democratic era. An era where it is more possible to compromise and interact with each other’s views, in which Ajax would not have been able to endure.

    The burden and responsibility of being a hero must now be shared with everyone. The virtue of aristocracy must now be democratized.


    Argyris Xafis


    Greece’s first state theatre company was the Royal Theatre, which was founded in 1901 and continued its operations until 1908. It was re-established under the name National Theatre in 1930 and opened for the public in March 1932. During its 90 years of life, the National Theatre of Greece (NTG) has succeeded in creating a powerful theatrical tradition. The NTG Drama School was founded in 1930, and has since operated in tandem with the GNT.

    The repertoire of the National Theatre aims at polyphony, promoting a dialogue between tradition, the present and the future. The revival of Ancient Greek Drama remains a key area of interest for the National Theatre as part of its efforts to pay due respect to tradition while also exploring new theatrical trends. In 1938 the National Theatre of Greece performed its first open-air production of ancient drama, Sophocles’ Electra; the first performance after centuries at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In 1955 the NTG established the Festival of Epidaurus.

    Today, the National Theatre has six stages: two at the Ziller Building, three in the Rex Theatre, as well as at the School of Athens – Irene Papas (open-air theatre). The National Theatre is always open to collaborations with theatres and artists – tours, joint productions with major theatres abroad, participation in international festivals, educational programmes, invitations to important contemporary artists; these are all part of the effort to broaden an already established network. Τhe NTG was a member of the European Theatre’s Union (2009-2020).

    The Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Greece is the director Yannis Moschos.

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HELEN by Euripides

HELEN by Euripides


  • Friday, July 29

    Curium Ancient Theatre

  • Saturday, July 30

    Curium Ancient Theatre

Performances start at

Please arrive at Curium Ancient Theatre before 20:00



110 minutes

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The National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG) returns to the Festival three years later and presents Helen by Euripides, translated by Pantelis Boukalas and directed by Vassilis Papavassiliou, featuring an ensemble of actors and musicians on stage.

Written in the aftermath of the Athenians’ crushing defeat in the Sicilian Expedition, Euripides’ Helen is noted both for its anti-war qualities and its focus on virtues such as the power of an oath and intelligence, both personified in the form of the titular heroine. Drawing on the version of the myth created by the lyric poet Stesichorus instead of Homer’s best-known version, Euripides portrays the Trojan War as a massacre committed for a phantom rather than a real woman.

Helen that is almost unduly classified as a “tragedy” is also characterized by its comic elements. NTNG’s production highlights these elements through an imaginative directional approach, creating a festive atmosphere, an anti-war conflict on stage.


  • Translation

    Pantelis Boukalas

  • Direction

    Vassilis Papavassiliou

  • Associate director/Dramaturgy

    Nikoleta Filosoglou

  • Set/Costume design

    Aggelos Mentis

  • Music

    Aggelos Triantafyllou

  • Choreography

    Dimitris Sotiriou

  • Lighting design

    Lefteris Pavlopoulos

  • Orchestration/Music coaching

    Yorgos Dousos

  • Music coaching

    Chrysa Toumanidou

  • Assistant to the director

    Anna-Maria Iakovou

  • Assistant to the set/costume designer

    Elli Nalbandi

  • Assistant to the choreographer

    Sofia Papanikandrou

  • Production coordinator

    Athanasia Androni

  • Stage manager

    Marina Chatziioannou

  • Photographs

    Tasos Thomoglou

  • Helen

    Emily Koliandri

  • Menelaus

    Themis Panou

  • Theonoe

    Agoritsa Economou

  • Theoclymenus

    Giorgos Kafkas

  • Old woman

    Effie Stamouli

  • First Messenger

    Dimitris Kolovos

  • Second Messenger

    Angelos Bouras

  • Teucer

    Dimitris Morfakidis

  • Therapon

    Christos Mastrogiannidis

  • The Dioscuri

    Nikolas Marangopoulos,
    Orestes Paliadelis

  • Chorus

    Nefeli Anthopoulou,
    Stavroula Arabatzoglou,
    Natassa Daliaka,
    Eleni Giannousi,
    Elektra Goniadou ,
    Sofia Kalemkeridou,
    Aigli Katsiki,
    Anna Kyriakidou,
    Katerina Plexida,
    Marianna Pourega,
    Foteini Timotheou ,
    Chrysa Toumanidou,
    Loukia Vasileiou,
    Momo Vlachou,
    Chrysa Zafeiriadou

  • Musicians on stage

    Yorgos Dousos (flute, clarinet, saxophone, kaval),
    Danis Koumartzis (double bass),
    Thomas Kostoulas (percussion),
    Pavlos Metsios (trumpet, electric guitar),
    Haris Papathanasiou (violin),
    Manolis Stamatiadis (piano, accordion)

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    “a mixed but legitimate genre”

    Theoclymenus, king of Egypt, is with his tailor. It is the final fitting for his wedding suit. Or, if you prefer, he is on the steps in front of the church, like the hero of a Greek film from the 50s, waiting to welcome his bride, bouquet of flowers in hand. It’s just that the wedding isn’t going to happen. He’ll be jilted at the altar, because she has already set sail with a tail wind for home—for Greece, and more specifically for Sparta, since the bride is none other than Helen, the famous, the one and only Helen of Troy, daughter of Tyndareus and hatchling of Zeus and Leda. And the daughter of Homer, too, for it was he who wrapped her in the swaddling clothes of myth, the better to present her as the victim of Paris’ kidnapping and thus the cause of the Trojan War, a war which would unite the disparate elements of the Greek world against a common enemy for the first time; the war that would set its seal on the birth of the confrontation between Europe and Asia—for, as Paul Valéry put it so clearly, “Europe is a peninsula of Asia”.

    The myth of Helen myth includes at least three kidnappings and five weddings. An innocent young girl is kidnapped by Theseus, symbolizing the betrothal of Athens and Sparta. Which makes it an entirely Greek affair. The second abduction, however, involves a “foreign element” who goes by the names of Paris and Alexander. It is Paris who takes her to Troy with everything that will ensue— the material, in other words, that Homer will develop in such detail in the Iliad. But we should not forget that something critical happened between Helen’s first and second abductions: her marriage to Menelaus which, following on as it does from the Theseus episode, had restored Peloponnesian unity. However, the myth remains duplicitous: descriptive on the one hand, interpretative on the other. Variants are the fate of myth. And thus, as time passed, a version began to take shape which was proposed two and more centuries after Homer by Stesichorus, Herodotus and Gorgias among others, and was then adopted by Euripides for his own Helen. According to this version, Helen never actually arrived at Troy. She was abducted, certainly, but not by mortal Paris, but rather, it was a god, Hermes himself, who took her, and Hera’s bidding—the goddess had her reasons. And Hermes did not take her to Asia Minor, but to Egypt, to the land of good king Proteas, who was a philhellene to boot. So she spent the ten years of the Trojan War in Egypt, and is still there seven years after its end, as her legal spouse, Menelaus, is lashed by stormy seas which confound his every effort to return home. In the end, he is washed up on an Egyptian shore with a few comrades. He has dragged a Helen along with them, but she’s not real, just an eidolon, a simulacrum of Helen, the phantom look-alike which Hera had deceitfully palmed off on Paris. But Proteas is no longer ruler of Egypt, having died and been succeeded by his son, Theoclymenus. And he, as is only natural given his red-blooded maleness, covets the real, exiled Helen. In fact, he’s madly in love with her. In contrast, the fake Helen, the one Menelaus has brought back with him as the spoils of war, has been burdened with all the curses and anathemas of Greeks and Trojans alike for the war and suffering she has caused. QED, the real Helen is innocent: she has no blood on her conscience.

    In 412 BC, in Athens, Euripides presents her case in the “trial of Helen”. In the litigious “closed city” that is Athens in the aftermath of the destruction of the Athenian fleet off Sicily, the poet engages in a complex bit of demystification and entertainment based on the Sicilian orator and sophist Gorgias’s “In praise of Helen” which had made such an impression on the Athenians fifteen years earlier. And this in a climate of collapse that foretells the twilight of the golden age of Athenian democracy.

    The comic poet Cratinus, a contemporary of Aristophanes and Euripides, once said that both men “had common interests”. He did so, one may surmise, to raise a laugh. But, in fact, both poets trespassed repeatedly on the other’s territory—they did it so often, in fact, that their trespass was immortalized with the gerund “Euripidaristophanizing”. Now let’s take a look at the facts. Helen was presented in 412 BC, and Aristophanes would write his colleague into the Thesmophoriazusae (or Women at the Thesmophoria) the very next year. In it, he has Euripides converse with none other than ‘Helen’ herself through a flurry of quotes.

    So, is it a tragedy or a comedy? The question is important from a literary point of view. Still, the acts of the poets, which is to say their works, stand as proof that, as Emmanuel Roidis put it, comedy isn’t constantly and continuously comic, just as tragedy can be tragic by exception, making tragicomedy “a mixed but legitimate genre”, as Dionysios Solomos might have put it.

    Vassilis Papavassiliou


    The National Theatre of Northern Greece (NTNG) is currently the largest theatrical and cultural organisation in Greece. With 4 indoor stages, 2 open-air theatres, and Greek and international tours, the NTNG has been operating as an active cultural hub since 1961.

    The new institutional framework of the NTNG was enacted in 1994. Pursuant to this, the theatre is run by a seven-member Board of Directors and an Artistic Director.

    The NTNG is supervised and subsidised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

    The NTNG has been a member of the Union of Theatres of Europe ( since May 1996 and served as a member of its Board of Directors until 2013. The NTNG is also a member of the International Theatre Institute.

    The annual repertoire of the NTNG combines in-house productions, co-productions with other theatre organizations and special tributes. The NTNG also hosts Greek and international guest performances. Its activities expand well into other cultural domains, such as education, literature, fine arts, exhibitions, conferences and international festivals, educational theatre programmes and other social activities.

    Based on the core belief that education and culture are basic necessities and wishing to remain a theatre open to society, the NTNG implements a strategy founded on the following:

    • Wide-ranging repertoire.
    • Low ticketing policy and various classifications of benefits.
    • Corporate social responsibility that focuses on population groups who for various reasons have no access to theatre performances.
    • Emphasis on the production of high-quality performances for children and young people.
    • Awareness-raising social activities.
    • Strengthening bonds and collaborations with cultural organisations, municipal authorities and charities.
    • Reinforcing the theatre’s international presence.

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  • Friday, July 22

    Curium Ancient Theatre

  • Saturday, July 23

    Curium Ancient Theatre

Performances start at

Please arrive at Curium Ancient Theatre before 20:00



75 minutes

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Poreia Theatre participates in this year’s Festival with Aeschylus’ masterpiece, Prometheus Bound, translated by Giorgos Blanas and directed by Aris Biniaris, with a select cast and Yannis Stankoglou in the titular part.

In this tragedy, Aeschylus deals with Prometheus’ resistance, who while chained on the rocks of Caucasus still refuses to succumb to the will of “ruthless” Zeus, thus setting the stage for multiple conflicts. Prometheus rises, defending man against the authoritarian mechanism of a divine tyranny and awakens the race of men to critical thinking, passion for freedom and personal autonomy.

Aris Biniaris, drawing inspiration from the rhythmical qualities of the text, continues his study on ancient tragedies leading his actors to transform the sounds and rhythms of the poetic text into stage action using their bodies and voices. Against the backdrop of a pulsating, live soundscape, the performers bring to life the characters of an age-old but invariably timely story where Prometheus becomes a timeless symbol of resistance. “A story that can be perceived as a bleak commentary on the present or as a bright hope for the future”, in the director’s own words.


  • Translation

    Giorgos Blanas

  • Direction

    Aris Biniaris

  • Musical composition

    Fotis Siotas

  • Set design

    Magdalini Avgerinou

  • Costume design

    Vasiliki Syrma

  • Lighting design

    Alekos Anastasiou

  • Movement/Choreography

    Evi Economou

  • Dramaturgy consultant

    Elena Triantafyllopoulou

  • Metrical analysis of the original text

    Kaiti Diamantakou

  • Scientific associate

    Katerina Diakoumopoulou

  • Assistant to the director

    Dora Xagorari

  • Assistant to the set designer

    Xenia Papatriantafyllou

  • Assistant to the costume designer

    Alexandros Garnavos

  • Assistant to the lighting designer

    Nafsika Christodoulakou

  • Props/Sculptures

    Dimitra Kaisari Workshop

  • Make-up

    Evi Zafeiropoulou

  • Production manager

    Stella Giovani

  • Executive producers

    Vasileia Taskou, Anna Pasparaki

  • Photographs

    Patroklos Skafidas

  • Prometheus

    Yannis Stankoglou

  • Kratos

     Aris Biniaris

  • Bia/Follower of Oceanus & Hermes

    Konstantinos Georgalis

  • Hephaestus/Follower of Oceanus & Hermes

    David Malteze

  • Oceanus

    Alekos Syssovitis

  • Io

    Nancy Boukli

  • Hermes

    Ioannis Papazisis

  • Followers of Kratos and Bia

    Katerina Dimati, Grigoria Metheniti

  • Chorus (in alphabetical order)

    Katerina Dimati,
    Fiona Georgiadi,
    Dafni Kiourktsoglou,
    Grigoria Metheniti,
    Dafni Nikitaki,
    Alexia Sapranidou,
    Thaleia Stamatelou,
    Dimitra Vitta,
    Eleni Vlachou

  • Musician on stage

    Stamatis Fousekis (double bass, effects)

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    Prometheus’s heart-wrenching and constantly escalating efforts to resist Zeus’s authoritarian system of tyranny is like an arrow that pierces through the heart of the dramatic events, before it finally finds its target at the very end. The figure of the suffering god-prophet rises high, exposed to the bleakness of a desolate land, in the craggy exile of his heinous shackles, a precipice of detention, punishment and dishonour. Prometheus’s impulses are ignited by the culmination of the sovereign’s cruelty and intractability in the face of anyone who dares defy the edicts of the monarchy.

    Like a beacon of unquenchable exultation that refuses to subside or be extinguished, the hero constantly self-combusts, triggering a reflexive awakening. Advocating for self-actualization, emancipation and an ultimate release from the destructive jealousy of cruel leaders, he constantly rebuffs Zeus’s demands for compliance. Using fiery, prophetic, often pointed and sometimes compassionate language, he calls upon us to connect with our inner source of existential grievance, capable of overturning any long-standing tyranny and questioning its God-given status. Zeus’s retort is devastating.

    Through his representatives, he either demands blind faith in his decisions or compulsory collusion in his devious schemes. Every member of the ruling class reveals, through their presence, the dark ways of the sovereign and confirms the heartless nature of the tyrant. Instruments of power, opportunist advisors and subservient volunteers, accompanied by guards or subordinates, communicate ultimatums, intensifying the delineation of a merciless institutional hierarchy.

    The Oceanids look upon Prometheus’ painful efforts and the trajectory of the tyrant’s tactics. They seek out the incandescent soul of the prophet in his place of confinement and listen to his ruminations. They wonder whether it is worth fighting for change when the price is so high. They rage over Oceanus’s opportunism and gradually comprehend the arbitrary roar of the sovereign. Lastly, they behold the maiden Io, driven to madness by the gadfly, and they tune into the convulsions of her tragic fate. Her tortured, disposable body, mercilessly ravaged by the tyrant, is the final proof of Zeus’s brutality.

    Hermes’ final commands add insult to injury, irrevocably convincing them of Prometheus’s sound logic. The Oceanids’ final decision to hurl themselves into the bleak depths of Tartarus is a declaration of their emotional shift, a moving show of bravery that transcends fear. The time has come for the flaming arrows of Prometheus’s impulses to finally meet their target. As a vessel of dramatic insight and a visionary of hope, Prometheus prepares to hurl himself into Tartarus. His fall is a lofty provocation, an incessant stimulus that tellingly escalates the clash between the unrelenting prophet and the ruthless, implacable tyrant.    

    Aris Biniaris


    Dolichos’ theatre company was established in 1998 by the director, actor and translator Dimitris Tarlow and since 2000 it has been housed at the Poreia Theatre.

    Its wide repertoire includes modern plays from all over the world – some of which were performed for the first time in Greece (The Beast on the Moon, Eurydice, Glengarry Glen Ross, the Woods, Oleanna, Blasted, The Man Who), classical plays from world theatre (and other literary genres) from all periods of history in modern adaptations by important writers, or in original adaptations (Frenapati (Mindbender) based on Pierre Corneille’s L’ Illusion comique, Miranda –based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Greek plays (Oblivion, Blind Spot, Great Chimera – adaptation, Satisfied – adaptation, Junkerman – adaptation, Heights 731 – composition, Common Glory – composition).

    The stylistic choices of the productions is also characterized by great diversity; Dolichos works with many different directors each of whom brings his or her personal touch (Stathis Livathinos, Yiannis Houvardas, Oskaras Korsunovas, Dimitris Tarlow, Grigoris Karantinakis, Martha Frintzila, Renate Jett, Cezaris Grauzinis, Dimitris Karantzas, Aris Biniaris, Yiannos Perlengas, Maria Manganari, Argyris Pantazaras), with the aim of creating a living theatrical language that expresses the concerns (social and artistic) of the present, while at the same time, focusing on the future. Dolichos has also taken part in joint productions with groups of young artists and has organised multiple parallel activities.

    Productions by Poreia Theatre have won numerous awards from major Greek organisations and have toured in Greece and abroad. Together to its productions, Poreia Theatre offers to its audience activities and events inspired by its repertoire, such as open discussions with the artists, philosophical brunches, meetings with the artists, musical evenings, exhibitions, etc. The theatre’s loyal audience includes theatre lovers of all ages.

    Poreia Theatre is fully accessible and is subsidised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

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ELECTRA.25 based on the tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides

ELECTRA.25 based on the tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides


  • Saturday, July 16

    Paphos Ancient Odeon

  • Monday, July 18

    Makarios III Amphitheatre

Performances start at

Please arrive at the theatre before 20:15



70 minutes

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Based on the two homonymous tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides, Electra.25 by the Atalaya Theatre of Spain, reconstructs the everlasting circle of violence (death-revenge-death) in the House of Atreus and dramatizes one of the darkest parts of the myth: vengeance against Clytemnestra and Aegisthus for the murder of Agamemnon.

Electra keeps the memory of her father’s killing alive and implores the gods to help her punish his killers. The return of her exiled brother, Orestes, rekindles her desire for vengeance and sets in motion the act of punishment that culminates in matricide. This act of revenge became and continues to this day to be the source of multiple conflicts throughout the history of Mankind.

Electra.25 creates a bridge between Electra of the ancient Greek tragedians and the contemporary dramatists that adapted it to the 20th century: Hofmannsthal and Sartre. Ricardo Iniesta approaches and stages the myth in an innovative manner by reinforcing the Chorus in its various forms and using traditional music to underline the human and universal dimensions of the characters.


  • Direction/Dramaturgy/Set design

    Ricardo Iniesta

  • Direction of Chorus

    Marga Reyes

  • Music/Orchestration

    Luis Navarro

  • Music

    Popular music from the Balkans, Italy and Belarus

  • Costume design

    Carmen de Giles, Flores de Giles

  • Choreography

    Juana Casado, Lucía You

  • Lighting design

    Alejandro Conesa

  • Soundscape

    Emilio Morales

  • Production coordinator

    Victoria Villalta

  • Production

    Francesca Lupo

  • Electra

    Silvia Garzón

  • Clytemnestra

    María Sanz

  • Chrysothemis

    Lidia Mauduit

  • Aigisthus

    Raúl Vera

  • Orestes

    Enmanuel García

  • Chorus

    Garazi Aldasoro

  • Chorus

    Imasul Rodríguez

  • Chorus

    Ángela González

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  • Elena Davidson 1


    Having as a starting point the dramaturgic composition by Carlos Iniesta, twenty-five years ago, of the myth of the House of Atreus and the character of Electra, Electra.25 is a new approach to the myth based on the homonymous tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides.

    Its main innovation is the introduction of the character of Orestes from the beginning of the play –just like in the classical versions– so that he has a longer, not physical but emotional, presence on stage for the audience. This creates more tension and empathy in the audience in contrast with the leading characters of Electra, Chrysothemis and Clytemnestra who are unaware of his presence. Orestes, however, also appears in the end after he has taken his revenge as suggested by Aeschylus in Choephori (The Libation Bearers) pursued by the Furies, not only to become a hero for killing his father but also to be morally reproached. At the same time, a new Chorus is introduced that appears in more than one occasion and is composed of the young women of the palace who are in their majority suspicious of Electra.

    This is another factor of tension that was added to the first version of the play and is based on Electra by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. All these innovations increase the complexity of the plot which is extremely simple in the first version of the play. The dramaturgy of Electra.25 reinforces the leading role of the Chorus in its various forms: Narrator-Chorus, Chorus of Mycenaean women, Chorus of Clytemnestra’s Maids, Chorus of the Palace Girls, Chorus of Furies, and Chorus of the People of Mycenae.

    Ricardo Iniesta


    Critics agree that Atalaya Theatre has managed to develop a unique personal style characterized by the energy of the actors and actresses, expressed both through the body and the voice, the contemporary reading of great universal texts, the expressionist force of the images and the poetic treatment of space, music and objects. 

    The continuity of its permanent team allows for extensive research processes for each staging. In the middle of 2022, the company celebrated its 40th anniversary and the fact that it has become one of the most solid points of reference in Spanish theatre.

    Atalaya Theatre has participated in more than 170 national and international festivals in 40 countries across six continents and has received over 50 awards, including the National Theatre Award in 2008. In the same year, the International Centre for Theatrical Research (TNT), began its operation. The Centre is now a permanent laboratory-school and boasts the largest private theatre in Andalusia. TNT has regularly taken part in cultural projects implemented by the European Union. 

    Atalaya Theatre’s language is characterized by live choral singing, images full of visual strength, intense rhythm and acting based on energy. This led most festivals to avoid the use of surtitles in performances, like for example in Russia. Atalaya Theatre has produced 22 shows in almost 40 years. Some of them are King Lear, Marat/Sade, Mother Courage, Celestina the tragicomedy and with Ariadne and Medea has left an indelible mark on the company’s theatrical language. 

    It should be noted that most of the cast of Elektra.25 -and the rest of the artistic team- are actors and actresses trained in the first edition of the TNT Theatrical Research Laboratory, now in its 24th edition. 

    More than a hundred educators from over 30 countries, representing theatre traditions from all over the world, have participated as teachers and passed on their rich experience to both the members of Atalaya Theatre, who very often attend the Laboratory workshops, but also to the company’s director himself, who has participated on numerous occasions.

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  • Wednesday, July 6

    Paphos Ancient Odeon

  • Friday, July 8

    Makarios III Amphitheatre

Performances start at

Please arrive at the theatre before 20:15



65 minutes

Book Now

The Sarajevo National Theatre and the MESS International Theatre Festival present Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, perhaps the most emblematic ancient Greek drama, directed by the distinguished Slovenian theatre director Diego de Brea.

The city of Thebes has been struck by plague, the citizens are dying, and no one knows how to put an end to it. King Oedipus wants to know why this is the case and he requests the advice of the oracle at Delphi. The oracle predicts that Thebes will be saved as soon as the person responsible for the death of King Laius is found and banished from the city. The king decides to solve the mystery, thus setting in motion a series of horrific revelations. The old prophesy has come to pass. However much Oedipus tried to avoid his fate, his every action led him towards it. The only way open to him now is exile.

Sophocles’ tragedy focuses on the individual in relation to their personal freedom, power, society and divine will. Diego de Brea’s directing approach conveys all the coldness, hardship, brutality and evil that emanate from people just like from Pandora’s Box. Always new, unexpected and more brutal than the one before; because misfortunes never come singly.


  • Translation

    Bratoljub Klaić

  • Adaptation/Direction/Set design

    Diego de Brea

  • Dramaturgy

    Džejna Hodžić

  • Costume design

    Blagoj Micevski

  • Lighting design

    Moamer Šaković

  • Sound design

    Danko Bevanda

  • Oedipus

    Dino Bajrović

  • Jokasta

    Mediha Musliović

  • Creon/Herdsman

    Damir Čobo

  • Tiresias

    Izudin Bajrović

  • Priest/Chiorman/Herdsman

    Damir Mašić

  • Messenger

    Emir Fejzić

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-9

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-26

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-32

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-35

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-41

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-46

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-49

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-65

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-72

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-73

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-80

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-86

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-94

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-102

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-130

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-135

  • VH-Car Edip 1-11-2022-139


    Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy by one of the three great Greek tragedians, Sophocles, in which the tragic hero Oedipus attempts to flee the fate the gods have laid out before him and avoid the evil that shall befall on him.

    Unaware of his origins as an adopted son and not the son of his parents, he unknowingly places himself upon a path that will lead to the prophecy coming true: Oedipus murders his father, takes his mother as his own wife and fathers children with her.

    All this happened before the play even began and the tragedy unfolds with the revelation of the truth.

    The plague is ravaging Thebes and the reason for this is an evil that happened many years ago. Oedipus, who has already once saved the city by solving the Sphinx riddle, launches an investigation and tries to solve the problem. The hunter becomes the prey. He realizes that he is to be blamed for all the evil because he killed his own father and married his own mother. And now as a punishment for this atrocity, the city is plagued.

    At first glance, we cannot identify with this situation nowadays, as fortunately incestuous relationships are rare. However, this dramatic text communicates with the present time in such a way that for everything that is happening to us now we must look for its cause in our past. At this moment the world is plagued by corona virus –and we are like Oedipus trying to understand how and where this evil has come from. Every action has a reaction and we have produced all the evil ourselves, consciously or unconsciously. Now, nature takes vengeance for the pollution and the destruction caused by physical actions as well as our greed, malice and hatred. The world is more polluted than ever and to solve these problems, we must go far back in time to find the causes of our misery. Or, to be more precise, we have not yet launched an investigation and set out to solve problems. We are still, as the character of the blind prophet Tiresias says: “Blind, though we have sight”.

    Through this mythical story, Diego de Brea, in his own way, conveys with his directing means all the coldness, hardship, brutality and evil that emanate from people just like from Pandora’s Box. Always new, unexpected and more brutal than the one before; because misfortunes never come singly.

    Džejna Hodžić


    The National Theatre of Sarajevo is the most prominent theatre house in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). It offers drama, opera and ballet performances and also houses the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. This large and beautiful building on Obala Kulina Bana is not only home to the theatre but is also listed as a Protected National Monument of BiH. It was designed by architect Karl Paržik and built during the Austro-Hungarian period and it originally served as a social facility which officially opened on January 2, 1899. With the founding of the National Theatre on November 17, 1919, the building underwent a thorough reconstruction and the first performances were staged here in this building on Obala Kulina Bana in October 1921. The famous Serbian playwright, Branislav Nušič, served as one of the theatre’s first directors. Up until the time immediately following the Second World War, the National Theatre worked exclusively as a theatre, but then it formed its own opera and ballet ensembles in 1946.   100 years since the National Theatre was founded in Sarajevo, more than 1,000 plays have been staged here and a few hundred opera and ballet performances. The National Theatre ensembles have made numerous guest appearances and received many national and international awards, including the greatest recognition offered by the City of Sarajevo, the April 6th Award, on three separate occasions.

    This year, the Sarajevo National Theatre is celebrating its 100th anniversary and is presenting numerous drama, opera and ballet performances.


    The MESS International Theatre Festival was founded in 1960 under the name “The Festival of Small and Experimental Stages of Yugoslavia” which gave it the widely known acronym MESS. The Festival was established upon the initiative of Jurislav Korenić, and is one of the oldest festivals in East and Southeast Europe.

    MESS was stopped when the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Festival’s administration, led by one of the most distinctive theatre directors of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haris Pašović, renamed the festival into the International Theatre and Film Festival MESS Sarajevo and launched a cultural resistance against the siege in Sarajevo. The International Theatre and Film Festival MESS organized the first film festival in the besieged Sarajevo in 1993, “After the end of the world”, which was the predecessor of today’s Sarajevo Film Festival. At that time MESS produced performances by local artists, but also those directed by Peter Schumann or Susan Sontag. As a result of all the cultural activities during wartime that were largely initiated or realized with the help of MESS, Sarajevo was nominated as a cultural centre of Europe.

    At the end of the siege in 1997 the institution was taken over by young theatre workers led by director Dino Mustafić. The Festival was renewed with a high aim of organizing an international theatre muster of the most significant plays in the world. The first Festival included names such as Giorgio Strehler, Peter Schumann, Jozef Nadj and Frank Castorf. The Festival, organized with enthusiasm and devotion with the aim of attracting new generations to the theatre acquired a completely new audience but at the same time retained the old one as well.

    The MESS International Theatre Festival has been innovative from the very beginning; all the previous leaderships throughout its history organised it in such a way that even under unbelievable circumstances in Sarajevo, it has become a cultural refuge for all generations, risking and investing in the bravest and most interesting art projects. That is precisely why the MESS International Theatre Festival is one of the leading festivals of this part of Europe.

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