by Jean-Paul Sartre with a prologue and epilogue by Thomas Köck
newly translated from the French by Magnus Chrapkowski
After fifteen years in exile, Orest returns unrecognized to his hometown Argos - the city where his father Agamemnon was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisth after the victory over Troy. But the motive for his spontaneous return is not the will for revenge, but the rumor of a mysterious plague of flies. When his sister Electra persuades him to stay, he gradually realizes that Clytemnestra and Aegisth not only cruelly oppress the people, but have also made him complicit in Agamemnon's murder. Only then does the decision to act mature in Orest.
Unlike in Aeschylus' famous "Oresteia," in which a curse determines the fate of the participants, in Sartre's play Orest is no longer the plaything and tool of the gods - he acts of his own free will. In his radical interpretation of the ancient myth, the French philosopher, playwright and main representative of existentialism Jean-Paul Sartre shows how oppression can be overcome through resistance and the will to be free. In the end, no jury or god will acquit Orest. He takes the blame upon himself and will - according to Sartre - "continue on his way, without justification, without excuse, without help, alone."
House director Elsa-Sophie Jach brings Sartre's tragedy to the stage in a newly commissioned translation at the Cuvilliéstheater.
"Once a year, Argos is in a state of emergency. A society dances on the edge of the abyss of its guilt. On this day Orest returns to the city where his sister Elektra is rebelling: against her mother, the murder of her father, the bizarre rush of death, ghost-purge. The two find and lose themselves in their questions: do the dead haunt the living? Is this never-ending celebration of remorse paralyzing or just? Where does freedom end? In the process, like drones, the flies hover over their heads, over the city of Argos, scanning and harassing its inhabitants* - Sartre's flies." Elsa-Sophie Jach
Sartre's "The Flies" is the prelude to a reexamination of the more than two thousand year old myth of the "Oresteia", which will be continued with Ulrich Rasche's production of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" and Robert Borgmann's music-theatrical installation "Athena".
Production Elsa-Sophie Jach
Composition and musical direction Max Kühn
Stage Aleksandra Pavlovic
Costumes Sibylle Wallum
Lighting Barbara Westernach
Dramaturgy Michael Billenkamp
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