Cyprus Theatre Organisation


«The Phoenician Women» | The Cyprus Theatre Organisation’s summer production



The Cyprus Theatre Organisation will stage for the summer of 2024 Euripides’ The Phoenician Women, directed by Magdalena Zira. The production is included in the events commemorating 50 years from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The Phoenician Women, which belongs to Euripides’ late period, was probably written between 410 and 409 BC, in the last tumultuous years of the Peloponnesian War, shortly after the brief but harrowing Oligarchic Coup and the rule of the Four Hundred. It is a drama with a rich plot that traces the legacy of the trauma of war from generation to generation, shedding light on ideas of reconciliation, peace, justice and equality.

The action of the play takes place in the besieged city of Thebes. Seven Argive generals are preparing to attack the city on the instructions of the exiled Polynices, whose brother, Eteocles, has undertaken to defend it. Shortly before the battle, Jocasta hopes to prevent a war by arranging a truce so her sons can meet and reconcile. However, the curse of their father, Oedipus, whom the two brothers have imprisoned to keep the shame of incest hidden, threatens to lead them to mutual fratricide. In the crucible of war, the young Antigone endures a violent coming-of-age, while Creon’s young son, Menoeceus, becomes a model of selflessness. Power constantly changes hands during the play, but the leaders of the city, blinded by their passions, repeat the mistakes of the past. The tragic fall of the House of Labdacus is even more pitiable as it is juxtaposed with the Chorus’s references to the city’s glorious past.

Euripides’ ground breaking drama condenses all the most known aspects of the Theban Cycle into a single play, along with a number of innovations. What would happen if the fratricide could be avoided, if the war could be stopped, if the interventions of Jocasta and Antigone could deliver the house from the evils of fratricide, war, hubris, and the stain of guilt?