19th April – 7th May 2016
The Blue Elephant Theatre
A wanderer returns, driving the people of the city into a ferocious and liberating frenzy. His actions excite, his message thrills, but his mission is revenge.
Euripides’ hedonistic and uncompromising final play comes to the stage in an all-new devised ensemble production. Through the use of spoken word, movement and music this thrilling production examines belief, sexuality and liberation.
A man is just a man, unless that man is God.
The production marks our return to The Blue Elephant after our sell-out production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in 2014.
The Bacchae marks the ninth Greek play in the Lazarus repertoire after Medea 2007, Elektra 2008, Hecuba 2010, Orestes 2011, Electra 2011, The Women of Troy 2012, Iphigenia in Aulis 2012 and Oedipus 2013.
“The Bacchae is an absorbing piece of theatre that finds the core of the drama and connects it to our own time” ★★★★
Greg Jameson, Entertainment Focus
Dionysus – Nick Biadon
Pentheus – Stephen Emery
Agaue – Sonja Zobel
Katrine – Lysanne Van Overbeek
Advisor – Jake W Francis
Advisor – Ashley Holman
Advisor – Aidan Valentine
Chorus Leader– RJ Seeley
Chorus 1 – Tamara Camacho
Chorus 2 – Liis Mikk
Chorus 3 – Amy Allen
Chorus 4 – Kenzie Horn
Chorus 5 – Rachel Agustsson
Chorus 6 – Katherine Judkins
Written by Euripides
Adapted and Directed by Gavin Harrington-Odedra
Additional material written by David Bullen and the company
Costume Designed by Sorcha Corcoran
Lighting Design by Stuart Glover
Sound Design by Neil McKeown
Production Manager – Ina Berggren
Stage Manager – Mel Berry
Dramaturge – David Bullen
Assistant Director – John King
Company Photographer – Adam Trigg
Production Graphic Designer – Will Beeston
Production shots taken by Adam Trigg
★★★★ “Euripides’ final tragedy – The Bacchae – is pulsatingly brought to life… Lazarus’s interpretation is bold and mesmerising”
Greg Jameson, Entertainment Focus
Dates 19th April - 7th May, Tuesday – Saturday 8.00pm
Venue The Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell.
Tickets £15.00, £12.50 (Concessions) £10 (Previews)
To Book www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk
PRESS AND OPENING NIGHT 21st April 2016
Run Time 60 Minutes approx
Carolin Kopplin, UK Theatre Newtwork
1. Although we can’t be certain, The Bacchae was probably the final Euripides play ancient Athenian audiences ever saw – at least before revivals started!
2.It was first performed where all surviving Greek tragedies were: at an annual spring festival dedicated to Dionysus.
3.Euripides died in 406 BCE and his final trilogy of plays was probably presented at the festival the following year. They won first place in the competition amongst playwrights.
4.The Bacchae was very popular in antiquity following its first performance. Alexander the Great’s mother Olympias, herself a follower of Dionysus, is said to have performed the role of Agave – with her son as Pentheus.
5. Some of the text of Euripides’ play is actually missing, leading to a very frustrating gap just as Dionysus makes his final appearance. Scholars have been able to reconstruct some of the missing text, however, thanks to a bizarre Byzantine poem from the eleventh- or twelfth century CE called the Christus Patiens.
6. In 1908, renowned actress and suffragist Lillah McCarthy convinced her friend William Poel to stage the play while her husband – the famous actor and director Harley Granville-Barker – was away in Ireland.
7. The Performance Group’s Dionysus in 69 was a particularly notorious production that has had a lasting impact on American theatre. A partly devised version that was influenced by anthropological theories on ritual and community, there was a lot of nudity and as well as a kiss between two men – taboo at the time.
8.In Britain, meanwhile, the fledging National Theatre commissioned novelist Maureen Duffy to adapt The Bacchae in 1969. The resulting play, Rites, was set in a women’s toilets and aimed to tell a similar story but from Agave’s perspective. Caryl Churchill later co-wrote an adaptation with David Lan and Joint Stock theatre company called A Mouthful of Birds, a dance-theatre hybrid that sought to explore gender and violence.
9.The Bacchae has seen a resurgence in popularity in twenty-first British theatre: including the National Theatre of Great Britain (2002), the National Theatre of Scotland (2007), Manchester Royal Exchange (2010), and even Shakespeare’s Globe (2013). The role of Dionysus has attracted some big names, from Alan Cumming in 2007 through to Ben Whishaw in the Almeida’s production last year.
10. The critic Terry Eagleton has described Dionysus as the first religious terrorist – and many performances have been inspired by the same idea.
Curated and written by Dramaturgue David Bullen.
"Lazarus’ productions always flourish in ensemble scenes, and the ferocity of the chorus in this production was striking"
Euston Street Diaries
“A striking new devised version of The Bacchae… An enigmatic and seductive take on this Greek tragedy to end all tragedies”
There Ought To Be Clowns
Enterainment Focus talk with Nick Biadon who plays the role of Dionysus in The Bacchae
Entertainment Focus talk with Gavin Harrington-Odedra and what to expect from this radical new production
UK Theatre Network talk with Director Gavin Harrington-Odedra and Actor Nick Biadon all things Bacchae
Theatre Bubble announce The Bacchae
London Theatre Guide announce Lazarus Rebellion Season
EUGreeka share the Bacchae news
The wonderful folk of Entertainment Focus spreading The Bacchae news