The 4th year Acting Studio presents their first production for the 2017 season: Steven Berkoff’s Agamemnon.
Adapted from Aeschylus’ great tragedy, Berkoff’s version of Agamemnon is about revenge, heat and battle, fatigue, the marathon, the obscenity of modern and future wars, dislocation and the abandonment of love in a thankless and unyielding world. It is also about the body, its pleasures and pains, and the power of desire. As well as the play’s Aeschylean core, in which Agamemnon returns home from Troy to be butchered by his double-crossing wife, the text expands and enacts events which surround and inform the story – the fall of Troy, the roots of the curse of Atreus and the sacrifice of Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia. Evoking a world in which powerful leaders pursue private vendettas with scant regard for the lives they destroy, Agamemnon captures the moral outrage of both Aeschylus and Berkoff, as well as the sheer fascination of one of folklore’s most enduring horror tales. The text emphasises Berkoff as a poet of the stage; he preserves some of Aeschylus’ original speeches but contributes much new material with his luxurious verbosity, elegiac proclamation seasoned with gutter slang and references to napalm, not only matching Aeschylus for stark horror but adding sardonic humour. This is choral and physical theatre at its best.
“I believe that you don’t need anything more than just utter simplicity and that everything in my art must be created from the body onwards. The body and the voice. Everything else is an impression is an imposition and is an interference with the art of the actor: if it’s too many lights, too many props. So, the simplicity with me is that I return the art of the actor to the actor; not give it to the sets or give it to the props or give it to the costumes or give it to the lights. But give it to the performer.” – Steven Berkoff.
Agamemnon opens on Wednesday 26Th April and runs until Saturday 29Th April at UCT’s P4 Studio, Hiddingh Campus, 37 Orange Street, Cape Town