Hippolytus – Second Day of the Lenaia 2022

In Euripides’ Hippolytus, Phaedra, Theseus’ wife, falls in love with her stepson Hippolytus. The young man is son of Theseus and an Amazon. He is not moved by women and his pride is to worship Artemis, goddess of hunting, wildlife and chastity. His disdain for goddess Aphrodite and for the love she inspires in men, … Continue reading Hippolytus – Second Day of the Lenaia 2022

Waiting for Godot – 1st Day of the Lenaia 2022

‘Think!’ This is the last word of the five commands that Pozzo gives to his slave Lucky, before the latter starts his long and absurd monologue. This happens around the last third of the first act in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Five commands are half way through the ‘Ten Commandments’, but for each of … Continue reading Waiting for Godot – 1st Day of the Lenaia 2022

Introduction to the Lenaia 2022

This is the third time I’m introducing the Lenaia festival and I assume the roots of this Dionysian celebration of drama arts don’t really need any more explanation or description. The four days that constitute the Λήναια [Lēnaia] are the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th days of the month of Γαμηλιών [Gamēliōn] - which is … Continue reading Introduction to the Lenaia 2022

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