Orestes in Mosul


Orestes in Mosul

NTGent / Milo Rau


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Orestes in Mosul
NTGent / Milo Rau

For this adaptation of the ancient Greek play Oresteia - a tragedy about a never-ending series of revenge murders - Milo Rau went to one of the hotbeds of the world, Iraq. How can the chain of violence end?

Grote zaal
19:30 h
Duration: 1 h 35 min without intermission
Language: Dutch, Arabic, English spoken, surtitles in Dutch + English

Orestes from the front line in Iraq.

Milo Rau, the artistic director of NTGent, not only wants to depict the world in the theatre, he wants to change it, too. And not from the safe comfort of the theatre, but by actually seeking out hotspots.

After an extremely successful festival edition of Brandhaarden, which centrally featured his work, Milo Rau returns with Orestes in Mosul. Oresteia is one of the great tragedies in which the eternal cycle of revenge, the 'eye for an eye' mentality, was replaced by justice, integration and reconciliation. Milo Rau sets the tragedy in northern Iraq and uses video imagery shot on location in the performance. He works with a mixed ensemble of European and Iraqi actors. What do Belgian and Dutch actors such as Elsie de Brauw, Johan Leysen or Bert Luppes think when they translate the Oresteia, which they have seen and played so often in their long careers, into today's world together with the inhabitants of Mosul and are confronted with these extreme stories? And what happens in the minds of the inhabitants of Mosul when they are confronted with the bloodthirsty rhetoric of the Oresteia, but also with the ideology of democratisation, of forgiveness?

More from Milo Rau: Family on 17 and 18 January 2020. The reconstruction of a family drama. What drives people to kill their own children? What's behind such an extreme choice?

Dutch press

‘Orestes in Mosul, gewaagd maar heel geslaagd.’ - De Standaard

‘En vooral de slotscène, waarin een volkstribunaal moet beslissen wat er met Orestes én met de IS-misdadigers moet gebeuren, is brandend actueel.’- De Morgen

‘Verwoest Mosul als verwoest Troje in onthutsend ‘Orestes in Mosul’ – NRC Handelsblad ****

‘Orestes in Mosul is een nieuwe maatstaf voor moderne bewerkingen van klassieke teksten. Rau moderniseert niet; hij toont op onopgesmukte, journalistieke manier de parallellen. Dat is voldoende om groots en belangwekkend theater te maken.’ – NRC Handelsblad ****

‘Met Orestes in Mosul verknopen Rau en zijn dramaturg Stefan Bläske op kristalheldere wijze de tragedie van toen met het Mosul van nu.’**** - De Standaard

‘Het resultaat snijdt de adem af. Van de eerste tot de allerlaatste minuut.’ - De Tijd

‘In Orestes in Mosul verplaatst hij het verhaal doodgemoedereerd maar zeer overtuigend van zijn Griekse oorsprong naar de moderne wereld. […] een geraffineerde en gedurfde remake naar nu.’ – de Volkskrant

‘ Een meesterlijke enscenering met weergaloze vertolkingen.’ - Theaterkrant.nl

Milo Rau
Milo Rau
Milo Rau

Milo Rau (1977) is not only a theatre maker, but also a filmmaker, sociologist, writer and journalist. Before he made his entrée into theatre, he spent years reporting from conflict areas such as Northern Iraq and Syria. In 2007, he founded the International Institute of Political Murder, which, in addition to theatrical productions, films, videos and performances, also publishes books and organises debates on social and political themes. In September 2018, Rau succeeded Johan Simons as the new director of NTGent.

"It's not just about representing the world anymore, it's about changing it." - Milo Rau

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text Milou Rau & ensemble
direction Milou Rau
actors Duraid Abbas Ghaieb, Susana AbdulMajid, Elsie de Brauw, Risto Kübar, Johan Leysen, Bert Luppes, Marijke Pinoy
set design Ruimtevaarders
costume design An De Mol
lighting design Dennis Diels
music Saskia Venegas Aernouts

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In 2007 in Calais, a whole family hanged themselves: the parents and their two children. Never a motive was found, the suicide note stated: 'Sorry, we messed up.'