The author of the play and director - Simon Abkarian
Premiere - September 25, 2019, Théâtre du Soleil, Cartoucherie
The ancient Greek myth of Electra and Orestes is one of the most popular subjects with West European artists. In creating this production, the playwright and director Simon Abkarian was inspired by the immortal tragedies of Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus, each of them being a proven masterpiece: “I have decided to do a version of my own, in order to retell this great myth as a parable”. Abkarian describes his Electra as “the reverse of Cinderella”. The princess of ancient Greece, having found herself in the lower depths of life, strives to retain her high morals, spiritual chastity and dignity.
Twenty performers appear on stage, including dramatic actors, dancers, singers and musicians. According to the director, music is the “lungs” of the show. The production is accompanied with the blues and rock 'n' roll. Live music is played on stage by the Howlin’ Jaws trio, who make use of traditional guitars, double basses, kettledrums, Indian percussion, mandolin, ukulele, banjo and bouzouki.
The great Ariane Mnouchkine presented La Compagnie des 5 roues with an opportunity to stage the premiere of Electra on 25 September 2019 at her wonderful Théâtre du Soleil. This is no coincidence, because Simon Abkarian has formerly been a member of her company. The director has inherited many traditions of this legendary theatre. However, the critics were quick to observe that it was Abkarian’s brilliant personality that made the show so gripping, convincing and vivid.
This production has won three Molières, the top theatre awards of France, for the best show, the best work of a living francophone author, and the best stage direction. Aurore Frémont, who played the title role, was declared “the theatrical discovery of the year”.