The Myth of Phaethon In Greek mythology, Phaethon is the sοn of the Oceanid Clymene and Helios (Sun). With the latter’s reluctant permission, Phaethon drives his father’s chariot for a
The Myth of Phaethon
In Greek mythology, Phaethon is the sοn of the Oceanid Clymene and Helios (Sun). With the latter’s reluctant permission, Phaethon drives his father’s chariot for a day. While driving the wild horses of the sun chariot in the skies, Phaethon sees Scorpio and, terrified, loses control and drops the reins.
The fierce horses, bewildered, veer from their course; the Sun moves up and down; the chariot goes too close to the Earth, scorching it, burning vegetation and drying out the rivers. To save the Earth from total disaster, Zeus intervenes and strikes Phaethon with a lightning bolt. The blazing Faethon plunges into the river Eridanos where his sisters, the Heliades, mourn his loss.
The tyrannical pater familias Hamnet L’ homme harasses the members of his family in every possible way. Constantly alluding to the Holy Scripture, he sanctifies his sick being and practice, presenting himself as the mandatory of a divine task he is asked to carry through. The mother and their three children are tragic figures, totally succumbing to the unquestionable almightiness of the Father-God. The play takes place over one night when Hamnet L’ Homme speaks rakishly like a Gospel preacher, humiliating the manliness of his son, who lives in a baby carriage. He also commits the ultimate hubris, the serial rapes of his three children.
Aim of the performance
In the play everything takes place during one night and unlike the myth it leads to the son’s assumption, not his fall. Patricide here is both a symbol of resistance and rebirth with the killing of the father becoming a regulatory survival mechanism. To foreground this father-son clash, the performance negates theatrical illusion and the spectators become guests –witnesses.
Text: Dimitris Dimitriadis
Directed by: Thanos Nikas
Produced by: Ars Moriendi Theatre Group
With the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Cast: Stratos Tzorztoglou, Theano Amiridou, Nikos Ramos, Katerina Saynapou, Eleftheria Mavridou
Adult performance (Ages 18+)
Ars Moriendi Theatre Group
Ars Moriendi Theatre Group was created by the director Thanos Nikas and Dr Penelope Chatzidimitriou. Ars Moriendi Theatre Group explores the stage potential of plays from the classical and modern, Greek and foreign theatre repertoire. It places major emphasis on the dialogue of visual aesthetics with the performing body and on the continuous exploration of the connection between stage rhythm and text interpretation. It often creates site-specific performances and stage installations for non- dramatic, poetic texts. It has participated in theatre festivals in Greece and abroad with performances in theatre houses but also former military camps, museums, mosques and deserted factories.
Thanos Nikas is the co-founder and artistic director of Ars Moriendi Theatre Group in Thessaloniki. He has directed, among others, Sarajevo 1914. This Grave is too Small for Me by Biljana Srbljanović, The Masterpiece by Christian Lollike, Salome by Oscar Wilde, Seven a play for GAZA by Carryl Churchill, Heartbreak Hotel (based on A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams), Faidra’s Love by Sarah Kane, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Dying as a Country by Dimitris Dimitriadis.
Dimitris Dimitriadis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1944. He studied theatre and film in Brussels where he wrote his first play The Price of Resistance in the Black Market in 1966. It was directed by Patrice Chéreau in 1968 at Theatre d ‘ Aubervilliers, Paris. The French Odéon Theatre paid tribute to his work in the 2009-2010 season, as did the Onassis Cultural Centre in 2013 with performances, directed readings, presentations and discussions. His play The Circle of the Square was presented at the Festival D’Avignon in 2014. He has translated works by Jean Genet, Georges Bataille, Witold Gombrowicz, Maurice Blanchot, Gerard de Nerval, Balzac, Bernard-Marie Koltes, Molière, Euripides, G. Courteline, Tennessee Williams, William Shakespeare.
MUSEUM OF FOLK ART