with Persian song and music from Tajikistan in Central Asia
Aeschylus' Persians is set in the royal court at Sousa and represents the reaction of the Persians to the destruction of their fleet by the Greeks at the battle of Salamis in 480 BC. In a world in which the ancient political and cultural opposition between East and West continues to be as dangerous as ever our production aims to provide a dramatic focus for thinking about this opposition.
Aeschylus' Persians conveys the immense grief caused by war. Thiasos have adapted the deeply moving laments of Aeschylus' drama to the powerfully felt songs of suffering (falak), sung in classical Persian from Tajikistan. For the sung parts, we use Persian and English and occasional Greek phrases.
The sumptuous costumes constructed from materials acquired in Bukhara and Samarkand are designed by Nina Ayres, former collaborator of Farrah, who sadly died before completing the designs.
The music is composed by the renowned Tolib Shakhidi - a former pupil of Katchaturian and composer of numerous symphonies, ballets and operas of worldwide acclaim. There will be both recorded and live music—the latter being performed by Eleni Kallimopoulou playing the Politiki Lira (a three-stringed fiddle also known as the kemenche).
Leading the chorus and central to the performance is Rustam Duloev born in Tajikistan and reared in the specialized falak tradition which he combines with a celebrated operatic career in Italy.
The chorus and other protagonists are members of Thiasos-- an international theatre company based in London, specializing in productions of Ancient Greek Drama which emphasize music and dance by drawing on the living performance traditions of diverse cultures.
The spoken parts are in English—an abridged translation of the original by Richard Seaford.
The play is directed by Yana Zarifi.