JOCASTA by Jannis Kontraphouris has its origins in the homonymous tragic personae of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Jocasta gave birth to a baby, Oedipus. Her husband, Laios, listening to a horrible oracle, orders the baby to be murdered. However, due to the mercy of a shepherd, Oedipus is rescued and after many years, in a state of tragic ignorance, he murders his father and marries his mother. When the horrible truth is revealed, Jocasta commits suicide, while Oedipus blinds himself.
The play carries on the tradition of many contemporary plays that reconsider the ancient Greek myths to deal with heroic figures in a deeply and inevitably anti-heroic era. The individuality of this play consists in the fact that the mythic frame is only at the margin, something that reinforces the universality of the suffering personae. With ruins of words and remains of memories, Jocasta constructs her own final nightmare and disturbs the order of a society based upon monstrous crimes. Jocasta ascents to the light to offer to the audience her miserable glory. She declines her royal burdens and she descents to the abyss of her devastating life. At the time of her descent, even the natural forces are present and accommodate the definite declination of the heroic world.
The language of the play is poetic and fragmental. The grammatical and syntactic derangement contributes to the certainty of an imminent destruction. The play, with the one word phrases, functions as a countdown to the end. Denuded by the royal tumult, Jocasta, who only wished for silence, listens to the hymns of her sanctification. And like a saint, she offers her body like a Communion to the mouths of her enemies.
Jannis Kontrafouris wrote his play "Jocasta", referring to the ancient myth, in the hospital shortly before his death. He particularly mentioned that he would like "Jocasta" to be staged by Theodoros Terzopoulos in his ATTIS theatre. The director fulfilled the last will and dedicated the performance to the memory of the author.
The international premiere of the play was given in Moscow on October 2011, whether Jocasta has been also presented in Athens, Perm and Genova.