Director: Nguyen Ba Hoang Lam
Institution: Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, Vietnam
Venue: ATEC Website
Time: 09:30, May 18, 2019
Event: The 4th World Theatre Education Conference with 6th Asian Theatre Schools Festival
The play “Oedipus the King” (Oedipus Tyrannus) is a masterpiece; however, it seems a challenge with any directors because of the issues made by the author. The reason for choosing this play to direct for ATEC Theatre Festival 2021 is that I would like to access a new breath of the era and come up with a message:
Human must be responsible for their decision. In spite of being in any status, the unavoidance and blame, taking responsibility will be considered the respectful character. The extreme pain will make the human more mature in their life. The most important thing is from the deepest place inside, they still keep their dignity, love to mankind and the world.
The play is directed in contemporary style of which dialogues will be reduced and used much body language. The Vietnamese traditional music material will be an experiment in order to explore the resemble thought between ancient Greek tragic play and the Southeast native spirit.
The Thebes City’s people are suffering from epidemic. They ask Oedipus for help. Creon was sent to ask for Apollo God’s idea by Oedipus. He informed that the King have to seek the murderer who killed King Laius is now in the City. In order to escape from the epidemic, the King must kill or banish him.
Oedipus ordered to hunt the murderer. He asked Teiresias - the foreteller, but he said that the murderer is really Oedipus. Oedipus thought that Teiresias and Creon plotted to usurp his throne.
Therefore, Oedipus accused Creon of betraying him. Jocasta - the Queen (current Oedipus’s wife, also Creon’s sister) proved the prophetic saying of the God is not true as the old story: Apollo had informed her that her son would kill his father then married his mother. Three days after birthgiving of the child, Laius (Jocasta’s husband, the Thebes’s former King) ordered someone to bring him to the Citheron Mountain for killing. However, Laius was assassinated by robbers at the same place (three way junction) as Oedipus had killed an old man several years before. The coincidence made Oedipus doubted then he told Jocasta: he is Polybus’s son, who was Corinthe’s King. As Apollo said he would kill his father and marry his mother, so he left. At the three way junction, for competting the way, Oedipus had collided and killed an old man who looked like Laius according to Jocasta’s description. After that, he urgely asked Jocasta to call the servant who witnessed that to find the truth.
A messenger from Corinthe City informed Oedipus that his father Polybus had just died. He felt secure in a half of the prophetic saying but worried for the rest one. The messenger said that Oedipus was not Polybe’s son; but a foundling in Citheron Mountain, then a servant gave him to a herdsman to offer Polybe King. Therefore, Oedipus tried to search for his identity. Jocasta advised him not to do that but could not. The old servant of Jocasta came and admitted that Oedipus was that child who was the son of Laius and Jocasta. Then Oedipus learned all the truth.
Finally, Jocasta - the Queen committed suicide, and Oedipus punished himself as hooking out his eyes. He made his last farewell to everyone and exiled himself out of the City.