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As women lament they tell the story of us

This year’s International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama kicks off with one of the most important plays by Euripides, Trojan Women.

The 22nd edition of the festival will include six productions from Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Georgia. The performances, which will run from July 1 to 30, will take place at the Paphos Ancient Odeon, the Curium Ancient Theatre and the Skali Amphitheatre in Nicosia.

The opening production, Trojan Women, will be staged on Sunday in Paphos, on July 3 in Limassol and on July 5 in Nicosia. All performances, which are directed by Andreas Christodoulides and produced by Theatro Ena, will be accompanied by English supertitles.

The story is set at the Achaeans’ camp outside the looted city of Troy, where the captured Trojan women and their queen, Hecuba, lament over their tribulations. Any members of the royal family left alive will become the property of the Achaeans, while Hecuba’s grandson, the young Astyanax, has been thrown from the walls, a victim of the conquerors’ cruelty. As Troy is destroyed in flames, the desperate women are taken to the ships that will carry them across the Aegean to become slaves in the homes of the Achaean victors.

Throughout the play, the Trojan women lament the loss of the land where they were brought up. Hecuba in particular lets it be known that Troy had been her home for her entire life, only to see herself as an old grandmother watching the burning of Troy, the death of her husband, her children, and her grandchildren. These laments reflect human nature and the fact that history always repeats itself.

The tragedy was written in 415 BC during the Peloponnesian War. It is the third tragedy of a trilogy dealing with the Trojan War and is often considered to be a commentary on the capture of the Aegean island of Melos and the slaughter of its people by the Athenians earlier that year.

Trojan Women by Euripides
Performance of the tragedy as part of the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama. July 1. Paphos Ancient Odeon, Paphos. 9pm. €5/10. Tel: 70-002414
July 3. Curium Ancient Theatre, Limassol
July 5. Skali Anglantzias, Nicosia


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