The beautiful symmetry, the incredible views from atop Cynortion Mountain, the sheer scale of the whole thing… Those ancient Greeks really knew what they were doing when they built the theatre of Epidaurus in around 340 BC.
Today, it still plays host to a rich programme of classical plays every summer for the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. With Greece having already exited lockdown, this year’s edition is still very much on – and thanks to a collaboration between Google and the country’s culture ministry, you don’t even need to be there to enjoy it.
This Saturday (July 25), the festival is live-streaming ‘The Persians’, an anti-war piece by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus, to home audiences around the world. The first play ever to be broadcast live from Epidaurus, ‘The Persians’ tells of the Persian response to their defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC – a key turning-point in the Greco-Persian Wars.
IRL ticket-holders will have to abide by strict social-distancing guidelines, but for those watching from home, the play is being streamed from 9pm Athens time (7pm BST, 2pm EST, 4am AEST) on the ‘Live from Epidaurus’ website, as well as via the National Theatre of Greece’s YouTube channel.
The play is in Greek but there will be surtitles in English. And though the stream is free to watch, the organisers are encouraging donations to support the National Theatre and out-of-work Greek actors. We can think of few classier ways to spend a night in right now.
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