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Christos Godas

Marguerite Yourcenar's work "Clytemnestra or The Crime" was directed by Christos Godas, who lives and works in New York. Two performances of the play were staged last autumn in Manhattan (on Broadway) as part of the Solo Festival and another ten in January and the Greek Cultural Centre in New York; some in English and some in Greek. Clytemnestra was played by actress Martha Tomboulidou, while the music was specifically written for the performance by Tassis Christogiannis. The performance will tour various locations with Greek populations or university chairs in Greek studies, kicking off from Philadelphia on 26 March.

The play forms part of the series of monologues entitled "Fires" written by Marguerite Yourcenar drawing inspiration from figures from Greek mythology. Sophocles' heroine is not portrayed as the inconstant wife who ends up committing a crime but as a woman in love who reacts to being abandoned and betrayed.

"Clytemnestra's story isn't the tale of a crime," the director told ΑΩ. "It may not even be a love story. It's a tale of the unpredictable, the unexpected: how far can an individual go when he goes beyond his limits, either because of passion, or pain or both".

"Clytemnestra is the ultimate woman," adds Christos Godas, "much more so than Helen or Penelope. She's the women who more than anyone else in Western culture respected the differences between men and women. She did so because she was truly in love, free of any self-interest or objective. That's my own reading of Yourcenar's work: you never know what will happen when you trample all over a soul. You never know what a soul in love will do when it is trampled on, abandoned or ignored.

The play 'Clytemnestra or the Crime' isn't a work about the two sexes battling it out. Quite the opposite. Through the gaps in the narrative, it's a tale that lets us grasp how men and women will come closer together, how they will experience ultimate love and the freedom it offers when one feels for the other. Bend to his needs, wishes, foibles and flaws. Only when one bends humbly, out of respect and awe for the other, can these individuals claim ownership of the prize the soul seeks: companionship".

Watch the video here: