Agamemnon, a performance history

Agamemnon, a performance history is the APGRD's second interactive/multimedia ebook. The ebook draws on a unique collection of archival material and research at the APGRD and beyond; it uses images, film, bespoke interviews with creative practitioners and academics, and digital objects to tell the story of a play that has inspired countless interpretations onstage and onscreen, in dance, drama, and opera, across the globe from antiquity to the present day.

The new ebook will be released in three two-chapter instalments. Quicker to download and easier on storage requirements, these instalments allow us to maximise the digital material we can include in each volume. The first instalment – Beginnings & Whose Play? - is free to download now as an iBook from Apple Books.

DOWNLOAD the iBook (for Apple devices)*

Agamemnon, a performance history: Beginnings & Whose Play? Beginnings: focussing on the opening scene of the tragedy, this chapter explores how the play has been linked to 'origins' or 'beginnings’. Aeschylus is seen as the 'father of tragedy’ and Agamemnon is the first play in a trilogy that has often been staged at the founding of dramatic festivals and institutions round the world. Whose Play? asks who is the main character in Aeschylus’ tragedy and shows how Agamemnon himself has rarely been the dominant focus of his name-play. Instead, it is Clytemnestra who controls events and who has fascinated playwrights and audiences across millennia.

* iTunes states that to view this book you must have an iPad with iBooks 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later. However, we have also discovered that some interactive features may require OS X 10.10 or later in order to work properly. macOS Catalina 10.15.3 is known to have a few issues with keynote files, this may affect the animated timeline and map. In our testing, Catalina 10.15.4 has not presented the same problems. If you are using older systems you may need to update your software.

Forthcoming:

Agamemnon, a performance history: Homecoming & Lyric: (forthcoming) Homecoming asks what kind of character is Agamemnon? How has his masculinity been understood at different times and in different places? How easy is homecoming for soldiers after a war? Lyric: focuses on the enslaved Trojan Priestess, Cassandra and the Chorus of old men from Argos, who both have a central role in this play and yet have little or no power to make things happen. The Choral Odes and Cassandra's prophetic song have proved both a challenge and a cue for enormous creativity in many modern productions and versions.

Agamemnon, a performance history: Endings & Iconography: (forthcoming) Endings considers what it has meant to stage Agamemnon as a single play, when it is itself only the first play in a trilogy. Is there closure? How effective is this as a stand-alone play? Just as the opening scene of the tragedy has resonated across time and place, so too has the final scene of violence and political insurrection. Iconography looks at the strong iconographic tradition surrounding this play - from Agamemnon's chariot to the bath in which he is murdered, the carpet of tapestries to Clytemnestra's axe. The chapter revolves around a photographic gallery showcasing how modern productions have tackled these iconic moments.

EPUB versions for devices other than Apple will follow.

See also: Medea, a performance history for the download links to our first interactive/multimedia ebook.

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