Iphigeneia

Iphigenieia is a theatre production by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions after a text by Finn Iunker. The production had its premiere at Black Box Teater in Oslo.

Fredrik Hannestad directed it.

Iphigeneia by Finn Iunker is a farce-like political satire with roots in Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis, in which Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter for wind in his sails, so that the Greeks can sail to Troy.

Information

(Objekt ID 1349)
Object type Production
Premiere October 28, 2006
Produced by Verk Produksjoner
Coproducers Black Box Teater
Based on Iphigeneia by Finn Iunker
Audience Adults, Youth
Language Norwegian, Swedish and English
Expressions Theatre, Post-dramatic theatre, Tragicomedy/Seriocomedy, Satire, Multidisciplinary, Vaudeville, Performance
Running period October 28, 2006  
Duration 1 hour 30 minutes
Website Verk Produksjoner

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 8m
Maximum stage width 12m
Minimum stage depth 8m
Maximum stage depth 15m
Minimum stage height 3m
Maximum stage height 6m
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 300 minutes
Downrigging time 90 minutes
Audience 200
More

In Iphigeneia by Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions a critical perspective on the insanity of war and the failing idea fundament of individuals is presented. In a review of the production Elisabeth Leinslie writes: "With a toned-down vaudeville-like, epic acting style tragic clowns re-enacts the events in Aulis. They do it in a satiric and trashy atmosphere with political undercurrents."

Iphigeneia is about King Agamemnon who was brought his full war fleet to free the beautiful Helen from the Trojans. Eventually it turns out that chances are she has left voluntarily. But that is irrelevant for Agamemnon and his army – they want her back yet the same. In Aulis the fleet is suddenly stuck because wind stops and Agamemnon is led to believe that the only thing he can do to get wind in his sails is to sacrifice his only daughter Iphigeneia to the gods of wind.

Filled with anguish Agamemnon sends a letter to his wife Clytemnestra asking her to come to Aulis with Iphigeneia, claiming that the half-god Achilles is willing to marry her. This is obviously a lie, and when Clytemnestra meets Achilles she discovers that he knows nothing about the wedding plans.

Even though the action is the same as in the original work by Euripides, the similarities with the text by Iunker’s text are few: It goes in the direction of comedy rather than Greek tragedy. The artists of Verk Produksjoner has in particular let themselves be carried away by the playwright’s mocking of some of the greatest literary heroes and heroines in world history, while identifying with Iunker’s playfulness with theatre as an art form.

For Iphigeneia Verk Produksjoner got the performing arts award from The Norwegian Association of Performing Arts/NAPA in 2007 and the company also was nominated for the Hedda Award 2007 in the best theatre project category.

Iphigeneia was supported by Arts Council Norway, Nordic Culture Fund, the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts) and the Norwegian-Finnish culture fund of Finsk-Norsk Kulturinstitutt (the Finnish-Norwegian Culture Institute).

Iphigeneia was presented in collaboration with The Cultural Rucksack in Trøndelag and The National Touring Network for Performing Arts.

SOURCES:

Verk Produksjoner AKA Verk Productions, http://www.verkproduksjoner.no/, 25.10.2010, http://www.verkproduksjoner.no/

Leinslie, Elisabeth (31.10.2006). Review titled Verk og Iunker i skjønn forening (literally: Verk and Iunker in beautiful union). Dagsavisen

Autumn program 2007, Avant Garden.

Contributors
Name Role
Finn Iunker – Playwright
Fredrik Hannestad – Direction
Signe Becker – Stage design
Per Platou – Sound design
Thea Danielsen Fjørtoft – Actor
Saila Hyttinen – Actor
Solveig Laland Mohn – Actor
Anders Mossling – Actor
Håkon Mathias Vassvik – Actor
Per Platou – Musician
Fredrik Hannestad – Producer
Saila Hyttinen – Producer
Anders Mossling – Producer
Festivals
The Contemporary Stage Festival September 15, 2009
METEOR October 18, 2007
Stamsund Teaterfestival June 1, 2007
Press coverage

Leinslie, Elisabeth (31.10.2006). Review titled Verk og Iunker i skjønn forening (literally: Verk and Iunker in beautiful union). Dagsavisen:

"The comedy in the theatre performance by Verk is displayed also in planned involuntary comedy created by tragic clowns. But the very moment comedy is created it is broken. This makes the characters seem disillusioned and helpless in relation to each other as well as the situation they find themselves in."

Larsen, IdaLou (04.11.2006). Review titled Aktuelt antikrigsteater (literally: Antiwar theatre of current interest). Klassekampen [Oslo], page 31:

"As many playwrights before him has done, Finn Iunker follows the tragic story thoroughly. But Iunker’s interpretation of the both cynical and completely confused general, his vengeful and envious brother Menelaus, by Iphigeneia’s self-obsessed mother Clytemnestra, and not least the pompous, self-glorifying and totally ridiculous Achilles, makes this Iphigeneia a strong and devastating satire of the insanity of war in our own time. This is underlined by the amazing choir, two "innocent and sexy and naïve" girls who have come to Aulis "from the other side of the strait" to flirt with the soldiers, and who are suddenly entangled in the dramatic events."

Writer and date unknown, Norsk Shakespeare- og Teatertidskrift:

"The clear political involvement of the actors and director adds friction to the ironical, finely tuned in Iunker's text and makes the performance open and inclusive."