‘Much is monstrous, yet nothing / more monstrous than man,’ reads a passage in Sophocles’ Antigone. It is a sentiment that was echoed in the opening speech of the 2020 Wiener Festwochen, held online by Brazilian actor and indigenous activist Kay Sara. Three pandemic years later, in keeping with Antigone’s revolt against Creon’s tyranny of injustice, Kay Sara and her allies rise to a full-scale indictment in this tragedy rewrite by Milo Rau. In Brazil, where around 10 per cent of the population owns 80 per cent of the land, the Landless Movement (MST) campaigns for radical land reform. As a chorus of the landless, they look down and comment on the events unfolding onstage between Creon, Antigone, her betrothed, Haemon, and his mother, Eurydice, from the huge video screen. In the final part of his Trilogy of Ancient Myths, which began with Orestes in Mosul (at the Wiener Festwochen in 2019), Milo Rau retells the story of right and wrong as a bloody clash between traditional wisdom and global turbo-capitalism.
Concept, Direction Milo Rau Text Milo Rau & Ensemble With Frederico Araujo, Pablo Casella, Sara De Bosschere, Arne De Tremerie and on screen
Kay Sara, Gracinha Donato, Célia Maracajà, the choir of militants of Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (MST) and, as Tiresias Ailton Krenak Dramaturgy Giacomo Bisordi Collaboration dramaturgy Martha Kiss Perrone, Douglas Estevam Assistance dramaturgy Kaatje De Geest, Carmen Hornbostel
Collaboration concept, research, dramaturgy Eva-Maria Bertschy Music Elia Rediger, Pablo Casella Set Anton Lukas Costumes Gabriela Cherubini, Anton Lukas, Jo De Visscher Light design Dennis Diels Video design Moritz von Dungern Video editing Joris Vertenten Video making of Fernando Nogari Direction assistance Katelijne Laevens Production management Klaas Lievens Technical direction Oliver Houttekiet Stage management
Marijn Vlaeminck Direction internship Zacharoula Kasaraki, Lotte Mellaerts Technical assistance Max Ghymonprez, Sander Michiels, Raf Willems, Brecht Beuselinck, Stavros Tarlizos, Dimitri Devos
Thanks to Carolina Bufolin
Production NTGent Coproduction Wiener Festwochen, International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM), Festival d’Avignon, Romaeuropa Festival (Rome), Manchester International Festival, La Villette (Paris), TANDEM - Scène nationale (Arras-Douai), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt a. M.), Equinoxe Scène Nationale Châteauroux In collaboration with Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) Supported by Goethe Institut Saõ Paulo, PRO HELVETIA programme COINCIDENCIA - Swiss & South American Cultural Exchanges, Tax Shelter programme of the Belgian Federal Government
Premiere May 2023, NTGent
Wiener Festwochen 2013 Moskauer Prozesse
Wiener Festwochen 2015 The Civil Wars
Wiener Festwochen 2017 Agora
Wiener Festwochen 2019 Orest in Mossul
Wiener Festwochen 2020 Against Integration (online)
From July 2023, Milo Rau will be artistic director of the festival.