“A heaven-detested house, whose walls of yore / Halters have seen, and streams of kindred gore; / A human shambles with blood-reeking floor.”
The Oresteia by Aeschylus consists of Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides. It’s the oldest trilogy of tragedies that’s survived to the present day, and was created shortly after the political upheaval in Athens that led to the first democratic state in the history of the world. Agamemnon, commander of the Greek army in the Trojan war, returns home after many years, having sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to win the support of the gods, and is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra. Her son Orestes atones for this by killing his mother. The cycle of murder and revenge finally leads to a trial with a jury of Athenian citizens and ends with an acquittal through divine intervention.
“The rest I speak not; o'er my tongue hath passed / An ox with heavy tread: the house itself, / Had it a voice, would tell the tale full clear;”
A lamentation about the seemingly endless waiting, even the oracle is silent. Warriors play at being democrats. Decisions are made in favour of the people and against the gods. Cassandra finds her voice again and proclaims their demise. Clowns and fools, artists and politicians, scientists – a collective end of the world. The endpoint of time turns into a beginning of history. Cassandra finds her voice again, everyone wants to believe her. No end in sight? No new beginning? No end.
“Within this city ne'er may civil strife, / Insatiate of ill, tumultuous roar; / Nor thirsty dust quaff deep the purple gore / Of citizens; nor rage, with murder rife, / Snatch greedily the vengeful knife!”
With a scrutinising perspective on our society, scenarios of violence and power negotiate and call into question the power of the state and every individual in a fundamental clash of viewpoints and values.
*Translator’s note:* This verse translation of Aeschylus is by Anna Swanwick.
With: Sólveig Arnarsdóttir, Johanna Bantzer, [Gabriel Cazes](https://www.volksbuehne.berlin/de/kuenstler-innen/8917/), Sarah Franke, Katja Gaudard, Sebastian Grünewald, Jan Jordan, Daniel Nerlich, Sarah Maria Sander, Sylvana Seddig, [Sir Henry](https://www.volksbuehne.berlin/de/kuenstler-innen/309/sir-henry), Hubert Wild
Musicians: Gabriel Cazes, Sir Henry
Director: Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson
Stage design: [Ann-Christine Müller](https://www.volksbuehne.berlin/de/kuenstler-innen/11177/?preview)
Costumes: Mona Ulrich
Music: Gabriel Cazes
Director of Photography: Voxi Bärenklau
Artistic collaboration: [Egill Sæbjörnsson](https://www.volksbuehne.berlin/de/kuenstler-innen/11167/egill-saebjoernsson)
Sounddesign: Salka Valsdóttir
Lighting: Kevin Sock
Live camera: Miriam Kolesnyk, Bruno Beuchel
Live cut: Nicolas Keil
Dramaturgy: Ulf Frötzschner
Deutsch mit englischen Übertiteln.