Announcement of the Epidaurus Festival Programme 2018: “The Frogs” by Aristophanes,
Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
10 & 11 August 2018
Translation: Yorgos Blanas
Direction: Kostas Filippoglou
Movement: Sofia Paschou
Cast: Lakis Lazopoulos, Sofia Filippidou, Antonis Kafetzopoulos, Dimitris Piatas, and others
Director’s note: “In “The Frogs”, Aristophanes conjures a phantasmagorical nekyia, a descent to the underworld. Much like Odysseus, Aristophanes seeks a path to his utopian Ithaca. One can only fulfil one’s life by discovering the true meaning of death. The Polis must come to terms with its own lack in order to gain a more substantial presence. The Polis needs to plunge deep into Hades to regain its lost identity.
Disguised as Hercules, Dionysus descends to the underworld to bring Euripides back among the living, since Athens no longer boasts a great poet. Even though this journey unfolds in the twilight of the dead, it is presented as a cheerful and entertaining guided tour, almost as if it were a medieval carnival.
Dionysus does not descend among the dead to bring back a great politician, a worthy philosopher, or general. Instead, he chooses to bring back a dramatic poet. Evidently, Aristophanes considers poetry and drama as the only powers capable of saving the Polis from its decline: a truly curious perspective, by contemporary standards.
This carnivalesque underworld, as depicted by Aristophanes, is healthy when compared to the diseased world of the seemingly “serious” living people. Comedy, with all its hilarious episodes, becomes a political tool, still relevant to our times…”. Kostas Filippoglou
#LakisLazopoulos #SofiaFilippidou #AntonisKafetzopoulos #DimitrisPiatas