Oedipus appears. The protagonists of the ancient myths - Medea, Cassandra, Daedalus, Orpheus - meet him in order to arrange a ceremony, the Great Funeral of History, which is thus transformed into myth. They prepare to bury the last representative of the twentieth-century dream of Revolution, and make it immortal.

The wake takes place in Colonus, in Canudos, in Kronstad, on the remote shore of an ocean, at the end of a millenium. During the vigil, the mythical characters relive the dark night of history, the lies and the horrors which made them eternal: the incestuous and murderous son of the couple who ruled Thebes; the slaughtered children of Medea; the rape of Cassanda, the clairvoyant; the shadowy kingdom of death and the head of Orpheus singing as it floats downstream; the deadly wings of Daedalus, the inventor of flight. While the petulant Odysseus comments mockingly on the blind vitality of the living.

What is myth for us today, and what could it be? An archetype? A voice from the unconscious? A tale full of wisdom? A dazzling clot of contradictions? A value to be desecrated? Nothing?

The darkest enigma shows itself through the contradictory survival of the myth, the enigma of its absence-presence.

Where does a myth hide? Where do we bury it? How do we keep it alive?

 

 

Photos: Jan Rusz

Actors: Kai Bredholt, Roberta Carreri, Jan Ferslev, Tage Larsen, Iben Nagel Rasmussen, Julia Varley, Torgeir Wethal, Frans Winther

Text: Based on poems by Henrik Nordbrandt

Scenic space: Odin Teatret
Dramaturgy and directing: Eugenio Barba
Assistantdirector: Gitte Lindholt

Dramaturg: Thomas Bredsdorff

Literary advisers: Ferdinando Taviani

Odin Teatret thanks Henrik Bredholt, Palamshav Childaa, Nikolaj de Fine Licht, Jan de Neergaard, Tran Quang Hai, Knud Erik Knudsen, Byambakhishig Lchagva, Ganbold Muukhai, Ganzori Nergui, Natasha Nikprelevic, Teatro Libre de Bogotá, Michael Vetter, Cristina Wistari.

A coproduction: Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo and Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium

202 performances from May 1998 to November 2005 (Ecuador, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Yugoslavia)