Agamemnon by the ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus . Written approximately 458 BC, it is the first part of The Oresteia trilogy. **
The original text
Translations and adaptations
Agamemnon, by Steven Berkoff. In the author's words: Agamemnon is about energy of a different kind, but overlaps with my play East. It is filtered through my own impression of Greece and is rooted more in the elements of landscape and sea.. It is also about heat and battle, fatigue, the marathon and the obscenity of modern and future wars. Naturally it is about the body and its pleasures and pains. I followed Aeschylus but chose to take my own route from time to time. Events smudge into each other and I have used from the Feast of Atreus the ghastly origins of the curse. This is a suitable horrific beginning, though horror was not what I wanted but a revelation of the crime. I described it as if it had happened to me.The final text evolved after a long workshop series during which the actors turned themselves into athletes, soldiers, horses and chorus. The text was chanted, spoken, sung, and simply acted, l am really grateful to two actors (Wolf Kahler and Barry Philips) who started the first day (sometime in April 1973) and finished with me on the 21st August.
Performance history in South Africa
Agamemnon (Aeschylus) first produced in South Africa by ** in 18*? . Also by the students of the Hugenote Gedenkschool in Wellington, directed by I.M.E. Fremantle. Other productions directed by **, **,
1981: A Troupe Theatre Company production of Agamemnon by Berkoff was directed by Henry Goodman, performed in the Baxter Theatre Studio in June 1981. The cast: Fred Abrahamse, Neil McCarthy, Fiona Ramsay as Clytemnestra, Ian Roberts, Richard Grant, Brümilda van Rensburg, Hilary Jones, Sean Taylor, Bryony Mortimer, Penny Lorimer. Design by Paul Baskind. This production opened at the Market Theatre on 2 September 1981.
1987: Agamemnon by Berkoff was performed by students of the Rhodes University Drama Department at the National Arts Festival Student Drama Competition, July.
1990: Agamemnon by Berkoff was presented by UCT Drama, directed by Geoffrey Hyland, Little Theatre opening 29 May 1990.
Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne (eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987.
Agamemnon (Berkoff) theatre programme, 1981.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to PLAYS III: Collections
Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances
Return to South African Festivals and Competitions
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page