The Bacchae – 4th Day of Lenaia 2021

When the god of madness entered his native city of Thebes, expecting that his royal family would acknowledge him, he was rejected by king Pentheus, by the king’s mother Agave and by his aunts, but not by Cadmus, grandfather of both the god and the king. Angry, the god introduced his cult of madness to … Continue reading The Bacchae – 4th Day of Lenaia 2021

The Imaginary Invalid – 3rd Day of Lenaia 2021

When Argan – a complete hypocondriac – decides to make the daughter of his defunct wife, marry a young but unattractive medical doctor, he acknowledges that his goal is personal and selfish: he’s afraid of sickness and death, and wants to have a doctor in his family, so he can be assured of getting the … Continue reading The Imaginary Invalid – 3rd Day of Lenaia 2021

Shakuntalā – 2nd Day of Lenaia 2021

Since the Mahābhārata epic, Shakuntalā is famous as the girl who married king Dushyanta. In Kālidāsa’s work, she is an abandoned girl who encounters the king during his hunt. After they marry, king Dushyanta gives Shakuntalā a ring as a proof of their wedding when she will join him in the capital. Unfortunately, a curse … Continue reading Shakuntalā – 2nd Day of Lenaia 2021

No Exit – 1st Day of Lenaia 2021

When Inez, Estelle and Garcin arrive in hell, they are perplexed by the fact that it doesn’t look like what people say. No fire, no devils, no torture. They have just been locked up together, in an ordinary living-room, where apparently, they will have to stay forever. No monsters are here to boil them or … Continue reading No Exit – 1st Day of Lenaia 2021

Introduction to the Lenaia Festival 2021

As each year, for the Lenaia, the tradition is now to introduce an excerpt from modern or classical drama for each day during the four days festival. The Lenaia Festival is held during the month of Lenaion (or Gamelion according to cities and traditions) in honour of Dionysus, the god of drama. Plays and theatre … Continue reading Introduction to the Lenaia Festival 2021

Electra – 4th and Last Day of Lenaia 2020

Electra by Sophocles is the last text chosen for the fourth day of the Lenaia. I couldn’t avoid ending with one of the traditional winners of an original Lenaia’s prize. The daughter of the murdered king Agamemnon is kept hopeless in Mycenae. She’s however waiting for the return of her brother Orestes who would provide … Continue reading Electra – 4th and Last Day of Lenaia 2020

The Death Of Tintagiles – 3rd Day of Lenaia 2020

My third meditation for Lenaia is a scene from the play The Death of Tintagiles by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck. Maeterlinck is one of my favourite authors and has been an important representative of symbolist theatre. When Tintagiles comes back to the castle, his sweet sister Ygraine already knows that something wrong is going to … Continue reading The Death Of Tintagiles – 3rd Day of Lenaia 2020

The Peony Pavilion – 2nd Day of Lenaia 2020

The text I selected for the second day of Lenaia is taken from an adaptation of The Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu for the Hong Kong scene of Cantonese opera. The strength of the story lies in an encounter which is actually not a real encounter. Lai Neung is dreaming for the first time of … Continue reading The Peony Pavilion – 2nd Day of Lenaia 2020

Life Is A Dream – 1st Day of Lenaia 2020

Meditation for the first day of Λήναια, is the last scene from Life is A Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. After having tasted both the sweetness of a prince’s life and the harshness of a prisoner’s life, Sigismund finally gets to the point where good or bad conditions have no more power on … Continue reading Life Is A Dream – 1st Day of Lenaia 2020

Introduction to the Λήναια 2020

Through these four coming days, I have selected four texts by play writers from different regions of the world. I propose a meditation on each of them. The Lenaia are traditionally made of four days during which comedy and tragedy are honoured and bring us closer to Dionysus. This is the reason why the meditation … Continue reading Introduction to the Λήναια 2020