Oresteia Trilogy

Oresteia is the only surviving trilogy in Greek Tragedy. Dating from around 460 B.C.E., it deals with the bloody vendetta within the House of Atreus.

In an ambitious undertaking, in situ: will stage the entire Oresteia trilogy twice in December 2014. You can choose to see the entire trilogy over the course of Friday 12 December and Saturday 13 December or the individual parts the preceding Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Oresteia:

in situ Agamemnon cast

in situ: performs the complete Oresteia trilogy over two nights at St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge. One reduced price ticket grants access to all three performances over the Friday and Saturday.

Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge | Map

Part One (Agamemnon): 8:00pm – 9:45pm on Friday 12 December
Part Two (Choephoroi): 6:00pm – 7:30pm on Saturday 13 December
Part Three (Eumenides): 8:45pm – 10:05pm on Saturday 13 December

Tickets: £34 (£24 concessions) available in advance from wegottickets.com and on sale at the venue from 7.30pm before Friday’s performance.

Agamemnon:

Agamemnon

Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge | Map
Date: Tuesday December 9
Time: 8pm – running time 105 minutes approx. Suitable for 16+

Tickets: £14 (£10 concessions) available in advance from wegottickets.com and on sale at the venue from 7.30pm

Agamemnon returns in triumph from Troy, accompanied by his lover Cassandra, a Trojan princess and prophetess. On arrival they are both killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, assisted by her lover, Aigisthos. Clytemnestra is angry with her husband because, ten years earlier, he killed their daughter Iphigenia in order to propitiate the goddess Artemis and ensure victory in the Trojan War.

Aigisthos is the son of Thyestes, who was the brother of Atreus. Atreus is the father of Agamemnon. Many years earlier, Atreus killed Thyestes’ other sons and tricked his brother into eating them at a banquet. Thyestes cursed his brother and all his descendants. Aigisthos sees himself as an agent of vengeance on Atreus’ entire bloodline. The play ends with Clytemnestra and Aigisthos seizing power in Argos.

Choephoroi (Libation Bearers):

in situ:'s Choephoroi (photo: Christine Cellier)

Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge | Map
Date: Wednesday December 10
Time: 8pm – running time 90 minutes approx. Suitable for 16+

Tickets: £14 (£10 concessions) available in advance from wegottickets.com and on sale at the venue from 7.30pm

Elektra, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, finds a lock of hair on her father’s grave. It belongs to her brother, Orestes, who has returned to Argos to avenge his father’s death.

Masquerading as a foreign traveller and unrecognised by his mother, he gains entry to the palace and kills both Clytemnestra and Aigisthos. He is driven mad by the
Furies, ancient goddesses who avenge crimes against blood relatives.

He flees the city.

Eumenides (Kindly Ones):

Eumenides

Venue: St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, Cambridge | Map
Date: Thursday December 11
Time: 8pm – running time 80 minutes approx. Suitable for 16+

Tickets: £14 (£10 concessions) available in advance from wegottickets.com and on sale at the venue from 7.30pm

Orestes is pursued by The Furies to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo acts as his protector, puts The Furies to sleep, and sends Orestes to the Temple of Athene in Athens.

The Ghost of Clytemnestra appears and rebukes the sleeping Furies for allowing Orestes to escape. At Athens, Orestes seeks the protection of the goddess Athene.

Both Apollo and Athene argue that Orestes was justified in killing his mother. They argue that because of the superiority of the male over the female, the murder of husband by wife is the far greater crime. The Furies argue the opposite.

Athene decrees that a trial should take place, the first murder trial in history. Apollo argues for the defence, the Furies for the prosecution. The Jury (a group of Athenian citizens) are split in their vote and Athene casts her casting vote in favour of Orestes, stating that “No mother gave me birth, therefore I approve the male in all things”. The Furies threaten to cause famine and other catastrophes, but Athene persuades them to forgo vengeance and take a place of honour in Athenian society. They become the ‘Eumenides’ of the title, ‘The Kindly Ones’.

The trilogy ends with a chorus of Athenian citizens escorting them to their new dwelling place under the Areopagus Hill, which gives its name to the Athenian court of justice that existed in Aeschylus’ time.

The Performance

In common with a lot of in situ:’s work, this performance moves around the site and is not confined to one space. It is a promenade performance – in other words you are invited to walk around the space to experience the action, some of which has more than one focus.

However, most of the time there are chairs available and you may sit down whenever you like. But bear in mind that the chairs are simply for your convenience and are not necessarily the best places from which to experience the action.

Please do not move the chairs. When we move from one space to another, you will be told very clearly what you need to do.

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