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During the Forum on European Culture we present the European premiere of The Suppliants (Smekelingen). The classic tragedy of Aeschylos, translated by Hafid Bouazza and recited by actors Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Hans Croiset, Nazmiye Oral and Jochum ten Haaf. With traditional Kurdish singing by a women’s choir. A modern interpretation of an ancient story.

This event will be livestreamed on 20th of September on our Youtube channel

The Suppliants tells the story of a group of women who are on the run from forced marriages and domestic violence and seek asylum in a city unknown to them. The king of the city has his doubts: should he let them in, and what are the consequences?

During the festival we present this ancient text in a unique form in the open air: the Tolhuistuin. The choir consists of 9 Dutch-Kurdish women, each with their own story. After the performance, the audience will be asked the following question: what can words from more than two thousand years ago tell us about the fate of refugees and pressing topics such as xenophobia and integration?

After an idea from Bryan Doerries and based on the concept of his ensemble Theater of War. They developed the Suppliants in the United States in close cooperation with the Caribbean Garifuna community.

Please note: this programme will be taking place outside, so please be prepared and bring some warm clothes!

Text: Bryan Doerries (based on Aeschylus)
Translation: Hafid Bouazza
Development and direction: Yoeri Albrecht,
Dramaturgy: Merlijn Geurts, Ianthe Mosselman (De Balie)
Music direction: Celil Toksöz
Actors: Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Hans Croiset, Jochum ten Haaf, Nazmiye Oral
Choir: Zehra Killi, Azime Kilinc, Evin Akin Arslan, Naime Akar, Humeyra Yildirim, Nilufer Akay, Nesrin Yildiz, Neslihan Öztürk Durdu, Serwet Xan
Music: Ulaş Yeşil, Emrah Oğuztürk, Alper Kekeç
Language: Dutch, Kurdisch
Subtitles: English

The Kurdish Chorus of The Suppliants Project DeBalie

About the play

  • The Suppliants by Aeschylus

    In Aeschylus’ ancient play The Suppliants, fifty women who are fleeing forced marriages travel from Egypt to Argos in order to ask King Pelasgus for asylum. At first, Pelasgus refuses to help them, but the Argive people rally behind the women and convince their king to allow the refugees to remain under the city’s protection. When a large group of Egyptian men arrive in Argos, demanding their women back, King Pelasgus threatens them and summons his army to drive them away. The play ends with the women retreating to safety and finding asylum within the walls of Argos.

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