A masterful play about loyalty, sacrifice and the power of the female voice.
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 – similar to the four elements fire, water, earth and air, which served as my inspiration“, says Schermann. “King Thoas asks her to become his wife, and Arkas supports the suit of his king by reminding her of the duties she owes to the man who gave her shelter on Tauris. Iphigenia’s brother Orestes and his friend Pylades require her help to escape from Tauris. Each force fights for their cause, which they believe is the only right way. But Iphigenia realises that this conflict as well as her family curse can only be solved if people have the courage to tell the truth, rather than fighting and deceiving each other. The Theory of the Balance between the Elements is part of many religions and cultures, and I think it can also serve as a universal message: Every human being is different in their nature, culture and beliefs, but the world will only continue to exist if we find a way to live together peacefully despite our different positions and demands.“
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.
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
This translation of Goethe’s Iphigenie auf Tauris Copyright © Estate of Roy Pascal.
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 STARS (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 STARS (London Theatre 1)
“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)
The Rose Playhouse, Bankside
56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR
16th June to 4th July 2015
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 3pm
Box office: 020 7261 9565, email@example.com
Tickets: £ 12 (£ 10 Concessions)
Twitter: @RoseTheatreSE1, @PamelaSchermann
Monday 11th May 2015