8.30 pm, Tuesday 9 July, 2013 at the Minghella Theatre, University of Reading
‘The Tragedie of Euripedes called Iphigeneia’ was first ‘translated out of Greake into Englisshe’ c.1555 not by a male classicist but ‘by Lady Jane Lumley’, as the title page of her script announces.
Lumley’s prose translation of the tragedy, where Iphigenia is to be sacrificed in Aulis so that the Greek ships can sail to Troy, emphasizes the heroine’s agency. Iphigenia transcends the arguments between her father (the Greek leader Agamemnon), and her mother Clytemnestra, declaring ‘I will offer my selfe willing to deathe, for my countrie’. At the same time, Lumley’s stark prose emphasizes Agamemnon’s cruelty and the raw pain of parting felt by the family. Her translation is daring in finding moments of dark comedy in the ludicrous situations faced by the protagonists. It also speaks out against a tradition of male, military valour, since Lumley’s Greek hero is Iphigenia.
The Rose Company was established in 2013 out of the love of classic and historical performance texts and a belief in gender justice. This first production represents their commitment to bringing historical texts to contemporary life.
Tickets £5 on the door. To book a seat for the performance, email Jan Cox