Fifty women leave everything behind, board a boat in North Africa and flee across the Mediterranean to seek asylum in Greece. Yes, it sounds like another headline on the ten o’clock news, but it’s actually the storyline of The Suppliant Women, one of the world’s oldest plays, which will be performed at Newcastle’s Northern Stage from Thursday 3rd until Saturday 5th November.
The play by Greek playwright Aeschylus, first performed around 470 BC, will now be performed in a British premiere by the Actors Touring Company, in a new version by internationally renowned playwright David Greig. The first ever English production of this ancient Greek drama explores themes of democracy, refugees, women’s rights, war and sex – themes as relevant and pertinent today as 2,500 years ago.
Reaching back to the origin of theatre, The Suppliant Women revives the ancient Greek theatrical tradition by recruiting a chorus of 30 to 40 performers from the local community. In Newcastle, the Northern Stage community chorus are working with North East composer and performer Mariam Rezaei and dance artist Nadia Iftkhar. The chorus will perform John Browne’s score and move to Sasha Milavic Davies’ choreography, accompanied by the live percussion and aulos, a kind of ancient Greek wind instrument.
Allow yourself to be inspired by this ancient tale that echoes down the ages and resounds with a poignant resonance today.