Greek Theatre: a Mirror

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When, in 1990, the South-African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of prison on Robben Island, the Nobel prize winning poet and playwright Seamus Heaney translated Sophokles' play about Philoctetes (Athens, late 5th c. BC) into the play The cure at Troy. The play was performed the first time in (London)Derry, a symbolic heart of the 'Troubles'.

Heaney hoped his play would contribute to a form of reconciliation. It took, however, nearly a decade before this hope would begin to be realised with the Good Friday Agreement (1998). Recent developments show the uncertainty of this agreement.

In this course programme we will study this play, The Cure at Troy, against the classical Greek as well as the 20th c. N-Irish background. We will perform parts of the play and try to understand Heaney's fascination and work in general. With the poet we will find out how timeless Greek theatre can offer us a mirror for our own times.

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Chain foundation
Donegal, Ireland

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