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Seven Against Thebes, Aeschylus – State Theatre of Northern Greece – Cezaris Graužinis
July 23, 2016 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
With English Surtitles
When his horrific deeds are revealed, Oedipus leaves the throne to his two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, who agree to alternate as rulers of Thebes. However, when the time comes for Polynices to take his turn as king, Eteocles does not keep his promise. Angered by his brother’s duplicity, Polynices forms an alliance with the king of Argos, Adrastus, and plans a campaign against Thebes. One commander from each side takes up position in front of each of the city’s seven gates. Eteocles–the tragedy’s only real protagonist–and Polynices end up facing each other outside the seventh gate of besieged Thebes as Eteocles tries to organize a counter attack in a battle which is destined to have no real victor.
It seems that all of us—all of us who call Europe home, not just the Greeks—live as though some terrifying enemy were camped outside the fragile walls of our normal, miserable but comfortable—for now, at least—lives.
We do not know the enemy’s name, for he has many faces and many names. Sometimes, it seems as though our worst enemy has the same face as us, the same name.
It will take a tragedy to remind us that we are all human, united by our common human fate. Iron and steel will turn to dust, but we will remain.
Everyone involved in staging Seven Against Thebes faces the same challenge: discovering how the survival instinct we all share can be made compatible with the need we have inherited from our ancestors and which we are under an obligation to pass on to our children: the need to remain human despite the fear, the insecurity and the desperation that surrounds us.