Suppliants Athens Epidaurus Festival

THE SUPPLIANTS by Euripides – Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

Where: Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
When: 5 & 6 July 2019
Why Go: See this ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides

This production of The Suppliants by Euripides at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival programme for 2019.

Two national theatres, the National Theatre of Greece and Cyprus Theatre Organisation, join forces to produce an iconic play: a tragedy about war and the dead, existential dread, dignity, faith and resilience.

Suppliants Epidaurus Theatre Athens Festival Stage

The intimate open air stage of ancient Epidaurus during a performance. Photograph: Thomas Daskalakis/National Theatre of Greece

Written in 422 BC, the tragedy echoes the battle of Delium (424 BC), in which the Thebans, allies of Sparta, defeated the Athenians and for several days would not allow them to retrieve their dead and bury them properly.

The mothers of the Argive generals who perished in Thebes fighting by Polynices’ side become suppliants at the temple of Demeter in Eleusis, joined by Adrastus, king of Argos. The suppliants plead with Theseus, king of Athens, to help them: the Thebans are keeping their dead sons as spoils of war and will not allow them to be buried.

Suppliants Epidaurus Theatre Athens Festival

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus during a performance. Photograph: Thomas Daskalakis/NTG

In response to this just plea, Theseus decides to send out a message to Creon, king of Thebes. Soon, a Theban messenger arrives bringing a message to Theseus: he is to drive Adrastus and the mothers away, otherwise the Theban army will attack the Athenians. Theseus leads the Athenian army against Thebes and ultimately retrieves the corpses and has them carried to Eleusis, where they are to be burnt properly.

This new production is brought to life by the artistic director of the National Theatre of Greece, Stathis Livathinos.

Why Athens Tip: The performance will be performed in Greek with English subtitles.

Suppliants Epidaurus Athens Festival Tickets


Epidaurus theatre is located at Palea Epidaurus in the region of Argolis. It is approximately a two and a half hour drive from Athens. Why Athens offers transfers to the theatre and back to the centre of Athens exclusively on performance nights (June – August 2019) for 59 euros per person return. BOOK YOUR TRANSFER HERE and enjoy an ancient Greek play under the stars in Epidaurus. LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE.

Suppliants Epidaurus Theatre Athens Festival


The ancient theatre of Epidaurus is regarded as the best preserved ancient theatres in Greece, famous for its perfect acoustics. Constructed in the late 4th century BC, it has a capacity of more than 12,000 spectators.


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