Oedipus in Corinth
7 October 2006
In his play Oedipus in Corinth, Ivo Svetina narrates the part of the story that few playwrights ever tell: Oedipus’s youth at the court of Corinth, before he killed his father and married his mother, before he even returned to Thebes, in short, Oedipus before he became a tragic hero.
Svetina’s Oedipus is a young man who lives as the son of Corinth’s tyrant Polybus and his wife Merope. He knows nothing of his real origins but his dreams have been haunted by images of an unknown town and inexplicit events foretelling his terrible destiny. Tormented nights drive him to question himself about who he is, but he can not find answers anywhere.
Polybus and Merope hide the truth from him that he was brought to them by a shepherd from Cithaeron because they want him to remain their son and be the successor to the throne of Corinth. His friend Leukos, the son of the shepherd Agron, whom Polybus raises as his son’s peer and later also as his own lover, does not understand Oedipus’ problems. The High Priest tries to exorcise his dreams using torture, but this also does not help, it does not ease Oedipus’ doubts, nor does it answer his questions.
The play starts with the celebration of Spring, on the night when the people of Corinth drive out a scapegoat. Asking himself whether he is not also some kind of a scapegoat, Oedipus searches even more for the truth about himself. Nobody at home offers him an answer, so he takes his question to the oracle at Delphi. There, Pythia tells him that his home is not his real home and, speaking in puzzling, complicated sentences, she foretells his destiny.
Oedipus actually does return to Corinth, and faces his adoptive parents again. He also meets a refugee from Thebes and in listening to his story recognises the town from his dreams. Deciding that he does not want to be what he is not, he embarks on his journey.
Marko Mandić – The Prešeren Fund Award for the roles in the last two years: Polybius in Svetin’s Oedipus in Corinth, Osvaldo in Ibsen’s Ghosts, Dr. Srnen in Cankar’s Romantic Souls, Count Strahlski in Kleist’s Ordeal by Fire and Balthasar in Hieng’s The Conqueror.
“Počasni krug” Award at the Sterijino pozorje festival 2008 Novi Sad
53rd Sterijino pozorje Festival, Novi Sad
Guest appearance at the Festival of South-East European Theatres at the National Theatre of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki