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Director Emily Louizou presents TROY and the reasons why she chose to translate and direct this contemporary Greek piece.

Our production of TROY opens on the 11th November 2018, the day which marks 100 years from the end of World War I. And yet TROY is a piece about how war, in reality, can never end: it destroys what is can destroy and it starts again, only to destroy again. TROY is a piece about cycles of war, about how violence leads to more violence and how war can only lead to more war. On the 11th November 1918, World War I ended only for World War II to begin about 20 years later.

Our TROY, however, is not about the First or the Second World War, it’s not about the Trojan War either. It is about all wars; all cycles of wars. The piece was written and performed in 2015 in Athens for the first time. We are presenting the UK premiere of the piece – in an original translation – and in an original music composition with a chorus of female actor-musicians playing all the characters.

In What Everyone Should Know About War, Chris Hedges observes that “of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.” What a terrifying realisation. And it is not just the millions of people – soldiers and civilians – that have been brutally killed during all these wars, but all the other destructive effects that war brings upon a population which is forbidden to grow, to move on, to dream.

Modern warfare, for sure, keeps changing and the meaning of ‘war’ itself keeps broadening. How can you define war? It once involved hand-to-hand combat, it once meant fighting in a battlefield, in trenches. What is war today? And what will war be in 100 years from now?

At the moment there is the biggest displacement of people since World War II. Alongside this, Nationalism is spreading around Europe, and I am left wondering what kind of world of conflict, of inequality, of prejudice and of intolerance are we falling back into? Because yes, there is the type of war we fight in battlefields, but there is also an even bigger one: a war against human values.

TROY is not a historical piece. It is not a documentary piece either. The text beautifully employs archetypal symbols of three generations of male power: Priam the King of Troy, Hector the Leader of its Army, and Astyanax the future King. All three are part of the same vicious cycle; interchangeable and timeless. They do not give answers, but they have some very big questions to ask.

We invite you on a different musical journey through a war’s noise and the silence of its aftermath. A chorus of three female actor-musicians, sing and embody experiences of killing, of dying, of losing sense of what is right or wrong in a world that stops having any importance.

Emily Louizou

Rehearsal shots taken by Ioanna Papadimitropoulou (@joanna.maria.p)

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