On Friday, 27 May, the independent theatre company Váróterem Projekt will have the premiere of their new show, entitled Alcestis, based on Euripides’ drama. At first glance this choice may seem unusual, as Váróterem Projekt rarely uses classical texts, but the team’s artists have long had a desire to work on a similar project. In terms of the method, however, we did not deviate so much from our previous works: the text was treated freely, as a raw material, and the rehearsal process was guided by joint research and active analysis rather than by a well-defined concept. The text contains traces of Euripides: based on Ted Hughes’ adaptation and Anne Carson’s translation, the poet Benjámin Horváth Előd from Cluj-Napoca created his own version for the company, which was edited into its final form during rehearsals by director Andrej Visky and dramaturg Johanna Bertóti.
Admetus, the king of Pheraea, is destined to die young, but Apollo, who is serving a previous sentence by the king, reaches out to the goddesses of fate and asks that if a relative will take the death in his place he may be saved. The only one willing to make this sacrifice is Alcestis, wife of Admetus. This is the tragedy. But then Heracles appears, with all sorts of unexpected surprises up his sleeve. This is the comedy. In the ancient drama competitions, the play was ranked fourth in the tetralogy, reserved for satirical plays, despite its serious, tragic themes. It is from this inextricable stylistic mixture that the real challenge and eclecticism of drama stems, to quote the theatre theorist Jan Kott: “the drama is constantly devouring itself.” It is precisely this inextricably rich quality of the play that interested us.
The performance will take place on Friday 27 May at 7 pm at the ZIZ art and social area in the old synagogue at 5-7 Paris Street. The next performances are Saturday, 28 May and Monday, 13 June, also at 7 pm. Tickets are available here. All are welcome!
The performance is supported by AFCN, Bethlen Gábor Fund, the Ördögkatlan Festival and EMMI, while the company is supported by Bethlen Gábor Fund and Fundația Comunitară Cluj.
The project does not necessarily reflect the views of AFCN. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or the use to which the results of the project will be put. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary.