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The Hades & Persephone Project
by Trinacria Theatre Company
Directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci
Devised by the Company
Performed by: Sam Adebayo, Sanda Bourename, Alex Kais, Marco Nanetti, Olivia Skoog
Drayton Arms Theatre - July 2021
Supported by Arts Council England
Trinacria Theatre Company is currently undertaking a new and ambitious large-scale project which will lead the audience through an immersive experience through time and space. This piece uses three Sicilian myths of interracial romance as its starting point, all three of which have left an indelible mark on Sicilian culture. The stories of Hades & Persephone, Mata & Grifone, and Lisabetta & Lorenzo each focus on the forbidden love between a white Sicilian woman and a dark-skinned stranger from another land. Many times they are seen are reincarnations of one another, but their story grows more troubled and violent with the passing of time. Who are these two figures and why does their story of obstructed love echo so loudly on this island, where the tension between natives and newcomers has always run high?
Trinacria uses its signature blend of community engagement to tell deeply personal, local stories for global audiences. The Hades & Persephone Project combines imaginative physical storytelling, minimal technical elements, and music to lead audiences through a powerful, poignant melding of myths. The form of the piece also takes inspiration from the tradition of processions such as wedding processions, military processions, feast day processions, and funeral processions. Our devised team has underlined the echoing structures of the myths and culled from the many repeated motifs: religion, racism, family, conquest, colonialism, conversion, defeat, violence. We trace how misunderstanding and misjudgment can spiral into a cycle of violence that is difficult to stop. But throughout it all, we focus on the steady, unwavering, and simple connection between the flowers that grow up from the earth and the roots that reach down to the underworld; a straightforward bond that tethers us through the tales. Drawing inspiration from the Hades & Persephone myth, the piece frames the three stories in a cycle of seasons, where summer and autumn may wither into winter, but there is always the promise of spring.
The Hades & Persephone Project brings its audience into the underworld and back again in a centuries-long journey through love and violence, life and death, flowering and decay.
Images (c) Tom Grace