Orestes in Mosul - Milo Rau
Milo Rau had the idea of staging a present-day version of Aeschylus’ Oresteia while he was conducting research for his play EMPIRE (2016) in northern Iraq on the frontline facing ISIS. ‘It is as if you were in a television scene and in a classical epic at the same time,’ as Rau puts it. How is it possible to stop the never-ending chain of violence in which the parties of the Syrian-Iraqi civil war and their Western allies find themselves?
In the first two parts of Aeschylus’ Oresteia there appears to be no way out: death has a domino effect – Orestes is pursued by the goddesses of vengeance after he murders his mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. He did this out of revenge because the two of them killed Orestes’ father, Agamemnon (and his mistress Cassandra). For her part, Clytemnestra murders her husband Agamemnon out of revenge because he sacrificed their daughter Iphigeneia to the wind to go to war with Troy. The only one who can stop this violence is Athena: she calms down the goddesses of vengeance by allotting them a place in society. Where hate has not helped, the loving embrace now succeeds.
Milo Rau retains the ancient grandeur of the tragedy, but links it to present-day issues, with an international ensemble. What can ORESTEIA mean today, rehearsed and staged in Western Europe and in Mosul?
New standard for adaptation of classics.Kester Freriks - NRC Handelsblad
Breathtaking from the first minute to the last.Koen Van Boxem - De Tijd
Languages: Dutch, Arabic and English
Subtitles: Dutch and English