The Furies Variations

By what principles can we judge, in order that we continue to choose justice, rather than the worst injustice? – Plato (Republic)

The Furies / Eumenides / Justice / Rule of Law / Ethics / Oresteia…

The Furies, vengeful goddesses of Ancient greek mythology, are born from the blood of Uranus. Their role is to pursue wrongdoers and take revenge upon them. However, in the Oresteia, they are given a new role by Athena: to enforce the new judiciary system established by the people of Athens, and enforce it with due process rather than simply taking revenge. They are given the title of ‘Eumenides’ or ‘The Kindly Ones,’ to acknowledge their new role as protectors and citizens of Athens. Aeschylus’ Oresteia not only brought mythological characters to life; it also used them to reflect and justify the contemporary political and judicial change in ancient Athens- from the rule of Kings to Democracy.

History is full of examples of those in search of justice, but today how do we define justice? Who is responsible for it? How should it be carried out? What is the role of The Furies’ in our search for justice?

Ancient Greece / Myth / Philosophy / Plato’s Republic / Intertextuality / Polyphonic Song / Live Band…

The Furies Variations takes ideas from different ancient Greek playwrights, as well as works from Plato, Confucianism, Kafka and others, using an intertextual approach to consider the the current problem of justice. Accompanied by live rock music, polyphonic singing and Bach.

Awards

  • Hong Kong Theatre Libre Best Scenography (Won)
  • Hong Kong Theatre Libre Best Show (Nominated)
  • IATC (HK) Critics Awards Best Scenography (Nominated)
  • IATC (HK) Critics Awards Best Show (Nominated)

Tickets

Contact us for tickets

  • Group purchases of between 5-9 full price tickets will receive a 5% discount. 10-19 receive a 10% discount. 20 and above receive a 15% discount.
  • You can only use one of the above discounts offered, please let the staff know about your preference during purchase.
  • Seating is unallocated.
  • Performance in Cantonese with English surtitles.
  • There is a post-show talk after each performance, please feel free to stay and participate.
  • Tickets are non-refundable.
  • The show lasts about 90 minutes without interval. Latecomers must wait to be admitted.
  • All rights reserved by Rooftop Productions Ltd.

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  • Friday, 7 December 2018 20:00
  • Saturday, 8 December 2018 15:00
  • Saturday, 8 December 2018 20:00
  • Sunday, 9 December 2018 15:00
  • Sunday, 9 December 2018 20:00
Kwai Tsing Theatre Black Box Theatre

12 Hing Ning Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong

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Creative Team

Reviews

  • This performance is very playful and crazy. I always say that if you want to know more about cutting edge productions in Hong Kong fringe theatre, Rooftop Productions is my first choice. They always provide the audience with a new way of seeing in all their productions, surprising you. The whole performance is rich and full of different elements; a feast for the eyes.

  • This performance impressed me a lot. They have successfully chosen their entry point for discussion. This is very important: the creative team has chosen the right approach to resonate with their audience.

Directors' Notes

The Oresteia is a formidable epic, full of revenge and dead Greeks.  We couldn’t get any dead Greeks to come and see our show, so we had to adapt it significantly from the original.  This involved a process of devising with the actors, based on Aeschylus’ themes and characters, relating them back to our own experiences and identities in contemporary Hong Kong society.  

“A just society can’t be achieved simply by maximising utility or by securing freedom of choice. To achieve a just society we have to reason together about the meaning of the good life, and to create a public culture hospitable to disagreements.” - Michael Sandel

In our process we have been trying to emulate some of Sandel’s conclusions about justice, challenging one another’s beliefs about morality, religion, and how to live.  A common element we found between the Oresteia, our own experiences, as well as other philosophical sources is that the family is central to our development of a sense of justice, forming a microcosm of how justice is enacted on a larger scale in society.  When the most pressing issues of our time cannot even be discussed between different generations in the same family, then coming to a consensus on what is ‘just’ on a larger scale is unthinkable.  

Music  

When confronted with epically long books Homer’s Odyssey or Aeschylus’ Oresteia, it’s easy to forget that what we are looking at on the page was at the time the height of popular music.   We know that Euripides was considered way ahead of his time in terms of his avant -garde composition. There’s a story in Plutarch about how a group Athenian prisoners were able to earn food and drink when captured in Syracuse by singing Euripides’ latest songs. Music has a way of rendering the epic scale of tragedy more accessible and palpable, adding a level that translates across cultures and time.

Greek Theatre

In its golden age from the 5th to the 4th century BC, it was said that Athens spent more money on its theatre than its fleet.  The theatre was a place to discuss important issues of the time, with playwrights using the stories of heroes and from their semi-mythical past as a metaphor for the urgent societal issues of the time.  Theatres often served as an alternative site for public debate, and mass engagement with theatrical performances was thought to promote the kind of the deliberative reason, critical judgement, and civic values necessary for participating in a democratic society.

Most of the text you hear has come from the group of collaborating actors, writing and rewriting. We’d like to thank them for all their efforts and sharing, as well as the whole creative team, and others who have supported us to make this show possible.