Nothing can be more seductive than a Greek island with 40 degree days, sparkling Mediterranean waters, the tinkle of donkey bells and the prospect of acting to the Gods.
Enter 12 individuals from different parts of the world all with the same overriding passion – to perform Greek Tragedy.
The chosen play, Euripides’ The Trojan Women is set in the aftermath of the Trojan War and the assembled women are to be dispersed to Greece as slaves and the booty of a war fought over the infamous Helen. Whilst the collective issue is bad enough, when each of the women is contextualised as a mother, a sister, a wife, an artisan, the full horror of displacement becomes apparent.
Hecuba, the Queen of Troy, not only suffers her personal tragedies but doubly suffers the fate of her subjects. Ellen McLaughlin’s 1995 adaptation of the Euripides work is a lyrical but painfully blunt account of the saga that leaves us heaving at the injustice of war. Men start wars (even if this one was over a woman) and ultimately it is the women who suffer. It is a timely reminder of the refugees that daily cross from the Middle East to the Greek Islands on their way to find another way of life. Whether displacement is voluntary or enforced, surely the disruption is the same. While The Trojan Women can instigate strong opinions on war, women and refugees, Euripides sympathy is palpable and it would defy humanity to not be moved by this play. Greek tragedy is said to be cathartic and it is my ardent hope that this play will continue to make a difference in the way the issue of displacement is viewed today.
Directed by Peggy Shannon, the images tell their own their own story.
Hydrama, on the island of Hydra, is a unique experience for theatre makers (Hydrama Theatre & Arts Centre)