Trojan Trilogy

Sisyphus is the fourth play in the Trojan Trilogy.


The fourth play in a trilogy?  Surely there is some mistake?  Or is this a joke?


No, no mistake.  But yes, in a way, a joke.


All Greek trilogies originally ended with a “satyr play”, a comic summation of the tragedies which had gone before, their themes and their obsessions.  And Euripides’ Trojan Trilogy was no exception.


All we have left is the title, Sisyphus, and a line and a half of inconsequential verse.  So David Stuttard’s satyr play is essentially a new creation, in which ideas and characters from Alexandros, Palamedes and Trojan Women meet again in an absurd setting, and where, despite all that has gone before, a reconciliation might just about be possible.


A plot summary would not do justice to the play, so we include none here.  Rather, we leave it to Sisyphus and Athene to give a flavour of the plot in this extract:





Sisyphus

Athene





Sisyphus


Athene



Sisyphus


Athene










Sisyphus


Athene

I suggested we revisit the event which sparked the whole war off.  The Judgement of Paris.  Where Paris, Alexandros, call him what you will, made the wrong choice, chose Aphrodite, lust, instead of me and plunged all mankind into war.


But how...


Stop asking questions, Sisyphus, and listen.  Zeus has agreed to stage the contest once again, bring Paris to Mount Ida…


But he’s dead!


No, he’s not dead, no, he’s in Elysium, immortal, spends all his hours in perfume shops and chic boutiques.  Don’t interrupt.  We bring him to Mount Ida, restage the Judgement, Aphrodite and Athene, Hera, on Mount Ida, and find out which of us he chooses this time, find out if he’s learned at all.  But really we already know.  Really there’s no contest, because despite the war, despite all mankind’s gone through, Paris will choose Aphrodite.  He won’t be able to resist.  No contest.  Every time a man like Paris sees a slut like Aphrodite, well – you can see where his brains are, and they’re not in his head.


But I still don’t...


I said it was a re-run of the Judgement, and it will be.  In almost every detail.  Except one.  This time you will stand in for me.


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