There is a short period in the history of mankind for which theatre in general harbours an insurmountable nostalgia: the period of less than a century in Classical Antiquity, in which there was a sudden and powerful outburst of tragedy, emerging as a dramatically finished form. The works by authors such as Sophocles, Aeschylus or Euripides continue to be staged today and inspire the writing of new works.
The playwright Martin Crimp, one of the most unique and challenging voices of contemporary theatre, whose works are marked by playful and demanding experimentalism, will explain what makes these ancient plays as topical and relevant today as they were when they were created. In his play Cruel and Tender, Crimp transposed Sophocles’ Women of Trachis and its characters, such as Deianeira and Hercules, into the contemporary context of the war against terrorism, in a work of great artistic and political relevance. In his most recent play, The Rest Will Be Familiar To You From Cinema, the playwright has revisited Euripides’ The Phoenician Women, that will also be at the centre of this talk, chaired by the researcher and Professor Maria Sequeira Mendes. Once, asked to offer a definition of himself, he naturally changed the subject: “I once wrote a play called Cruel and Tender.”
Session organized by Teatro Nacional São João