Monday, 8 June 2015

Iphigenia in Tauris

Director Pamela Schermann, whose productions at The Rose Playhouse include The Taming of the Shrew, Orpheus and Eurydice and Othello, directs (Hon) Artistic Associate of The Rose, Suzanne Marie, in a new production of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Iphigenia in Tauris

The play, which is based on the Greek tragedy by Euripides, tells the story of Iphigenia and the curse of the Tantalid family. The daughter of Agamemnon is in exile in Tauris, where she serves as priestess in the temple of Diana. Longing to return to her home country, she needs to make a crucial decision when her brother Orestes and his friend Pylades arrive at the island.

The play examines how ideals can be corrupted and how a woman torn between hesitance and action can overcome discord. “Iphigenia finds herself in the middle of four powerful forces – four men who want to win her for their cause“, says Schermann. “In contrast to Euripides’ tragedy of the same name, in which the Gods eventually help the Greek heroes to success, the conflict can only be solved by human strength and the courage to tell the truth, In Goethe’s play, the power lies within the protagonists. They need to overcome their fears, make their own decision and take action in order to succeed.“

For the first time, Roy Pascal’s translation of Goethe’s Iphigenia in Tauris receives a fully staged production, following two BBC radio productions in 1954 and 1966.

CAST Suzanne Marie, Ben Hale, James Barnes, Andrew Strafford-Baker and Alec Bennie.

CREATIVES AND TEAM Pamela Schermann (director), Annegret Märten (dramaturge), Gillian Steventon (costume designer), Petr Vocka (lighting designer), Philip Matejtschuk (sound designer), Theresa Schwarzkopf (Stage manager), Armi Utriainen (production assistant).

PRODUCER The Rose Playhouse

ABOUT THE ROSE PLAYHOUSE The indoor archaeological site hosts award-winning productions and tells the visitors much about its life between 1587 and 1605. Since its re-discovery in 1989, the site of Bankside’s first theatre has inspired artists and audiences alike just as it did over 400 years ago. The viewing platform above the partially excavated site serves not only as the stage area for the performances, but also allows the visitors to look down at the site, where red rope lights indicate the archaeology of the historic Rose Playhouse below. The ruins are currently hidden under a layer of sand and water, which helps conserve them. After being awarded a Development Grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012, plans are underway to fully excavate the site and put it on permanent display.

Praise for Pamela Schermann’s previous productions at The Rose Playhouse:

"Othello has always been a good play, but what Schermann has brought to this production is clearly evident – a fresh vision to a familiar tale, with fresh insights to boot." 5***** (Female Arts)

“A marvellous re-imagining... It should be a shoe in for a transfer to the West End where I will happily be queuing to see it again.“ 5***** (London Theatre One)

"I loved Pamela Schermann's latest adaptation of Othello. This was theatre stripped back to its essence, and it works wonderfully. Thoroughly recommended." (Southwark News)

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