Orestes the Gunslinger and the Flying Bacchae. Ancient Theatre Festival - Syracuse 2021


  • Gherardo Ugolini University of Verona




For the 56th season of the Ancient Theatre Festival at Syracuse (3July-21 August 2021) three Greek tragedies were staged. In the first place, The Libation Bearers and Eumenides by Aeschylus (the second and third parts of the Oresteia) were played as a single performance of the translation by Walter Lapini, directed by Davide Livermore. The mythical history of the house of Atreus is projected into a twentieth-century context, with a sometimes disproportionate use of special effects which, although they have an undoubted emotional impact on the spectators, are often unnecessary and adopted simply for their own sake, with little reference to the sense of Aeschylus’ plays. The stagecraft of the Bacchae, on the other hand, is very different and much more successful. This production of the translation by Guido Paduano, directed by the Catalan Carlos Padrissa with his company Fura Dels Baus, however ‘extreme’ its scenographic choices may seem (flying Bacchae  supported by a crane, Dionysus played by a woman) they always appear to be well integrated into the dramaturgical structure and responding to an intelligent interpretation of Euripides’ text.

Keywords: Aeschylus; Euripides; Syracuse; Greek tragedy; Davide Livermore; Carlus Padrissa.