Where does hatred come from? How does it find its victims, what kind of heroes does it produce? And how deep-rooted is it? Focusing on the female figures and losers of the Trojan War, and thus the archetypes of antiquity, Stephan Kimmig’s production explores the heart of darkness: the hatred felt by victors towards the defeated, the strong towards the weak, men towards women; the hatred through which the violence and cruelty of war is sustained. Kimmig takes his inspiration from Die Troerinnen and the rarely performed play Hecuba by Euripides, with its central female character. The play revolves around the Queen of Troy, Hecuba, as the incarnation of suffering, loss and lamentation, mother of fifty sons and daughters who all die as a result of the war. Yet Hecuba and her daughters are not pure victims. Through the voices and language that Euripides gives his female figures, the lament turns into something forceful, a poetic counter-attack to the injustices inflicted on them. They thus stand in stark contrast to Homer’s glorification of the Greek heroes Odysseus and Agamemnon. But how can we escape from these eternal conflicts of hatred against hatred, perpetrator against victim, injustice and the desire for revenge?
The performance owes its form to the strong voices of these female figures. The actors evoke the ancient texts and sentences in an almost concertante manner, performing individual scenes from their story with emotional heft, before distancing themselves from the pure reproduction of the eternal drama of violence in order to examine its patterns. What begins like a concert or a text analysis condenses into moments of sheer intensity and a lucid exploration of the roots of gender violence.
22. November 2019
Michael VerhovecLive Music