The world premiere of Egyptians ran at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre in Kent 22-25 February 2023
ABOUT THE PLAY
Egyptians is the second instalment in The Danaid Project, an ambitious creative venture which seeks to recreate and stage Aeschylus' cycle of four plays, three of which have been lost to antiquity. The surviving play, The Suppliant Women, has been performed to critical acclaim across the globe in a new version by David Greig. Now the same creative team have begun recreating the rest of the tetralogy, starting with Egyptians.
One intriguing word survives from the original text of this ancient play, and the creative team embarked on a process of reconstructing this lost tragedy through workshops and discussions with leading practitioners and academics across the world. Egyptians premiered in February 2023 at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre in Kent.
The workshop process is integral to rebuilding the tetralogy. Rather than just using a paper and pencil approach, we aim to work practically in much the same way that Aeschylus would have. Using music, movement and acting, we integrate them from the start in the creation of the whole production. Each workshop process forms part of a larger iterative scheme that will slowly and surely build up the plays and productions simultaneously.
It is central to our ambition that wherever we conduct a workshop, we later offer the opportunity to be a venue for a performance of the finished plays. In this way participants’ contributions are honoured and returned to them, closing a powerful, virtuous circle of creation.
The development process for Egyptians took place from late 2021 to early 2023, with workshops in Canterbury, London, Scotland, and Cairo with El Warsha Theater Company and the Centre for the Stick Arts in Mallawy. We collaborated with the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at Kent University, as well as London South Bank University whose generous support helped realise the production, in tandem with National Lottery Funding from Arts Council England.
Research trip to Egypt with El Warsha Theater Company and Center for Stick Arts, Mallawy
Egyptians in rehearsal at Gulbenkian Arts Centre