HEKUBA AT TEATRU MANOEL
Hekuba is one of the great Greek tragedies, written by Euripides c. 424 BC, and is set in Troy after the Trojan War, but before the Greeks had departed from the city. The central figure is Hekuba, wife of King Priam, once Queen of the conquered city. The dominant theme is Hekuba’s desperate grief on the death of her daughter Polyxena and the eventful revenge she wreaks on King Polymestor after the latter had betrayed and killed her son Polydorus, robbing him of the gifts of gold and jewellery that he had been carrying.
The play opens with the ghost of Polydorus declaiming and lamenting how, after the fall of Troy, he had been sent to Polymestor for protection, and how the King had betrayed him, killed him, and robbed him of the gifts he had taken with him. But why did Polymestor kill the young man? Why did he actually want to be rid of him?
In Thrace, Hekuba, now as slave of the Greeks, is mourning the loss of her throne and her city. The Chorus foretells the eventual death of her daughter Polyxena and Hekuba is devastated. Why has Polyxena got to die, or be killed? To whom does Hekuba turn in a desperate plea to save her daughter’s life?
To the funereal chant of the Chorus, the corpse of Polydorus is carried on stage, after having been washed upon the shore. When Hekuba discovers that her son had been murdered, her grief knows no limit and she seeks revenge. She begs Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, to help her vindicate the death of her son and daughter. Cassandra, another of Hekuba’s daughters, is one of Agamemnon’s concubines, and thus the king is reluctant to help the distraught mother. What does he do? Does he help Hekuba, knowing too well the risk of offending the Greeks?
Polymestor hides the truth of her son from Hekuba, a truth which she now well knows. And she is more than ever keen on revenge. What does Hekuba do to lure Polymestor and his two sons into her camp? And what happens to Polymestor and his sons? What does King Agamemnon do at the sight of Hekuba’s gory revenge? Does the King endorse what Hekuba had done? And what does a desperate and disfigured Polymestor foretell for Hekuba and Agamemnon himself?
Veteran actress Karmen Azzopardi will be making her comeback to Teatru Manoel after an absence of several years, in the main part of Hekuba, a part she had interpreted with an astounding success some fifteen years ago.
Taking part in this play there is also a cast of well-established actors:
Mario Micallef, Michael Tabone, Anthony Ellul, Alan Fenech, Lee-N Abela, André Mangion and Amanda Cachia.
The Chorus is made up of Marcelline Galea, Kim Dalli, Michelle Zerafa, Daniela Carabott Pawley, Shelby Aquilina, Amanda Cachia, Veronica Mizzi, Claire Buhagiar and Marionia Mallia.
Hekuba has been translated into Maltese by Alfred Palma and is being directed by Josette Ciappara.
Friday, 25th November, at 8.00pm.
Saturday, 26th November, at 8.00 pm.
Sunday, 27th November at 7.00 pm.
Venue: Teatru Manoel
Tickets available from teatrumanoel.com.mt or 21246389.