Reproducing Iphigenia at Aulis

Alison G. Findlay

Abstract


Lady Jane Lumley’s Iphigenia at Aulis exemplifies the process of dramatic reproduction in the mid-sixteenth century and in 2014. Lumley’s translation (ca 1554) of Euripides’ tragedy is a text which revivifies the past to confront the emotional consequences of betrayal and loss.  In the sixteenth-century context of Lumley’s own family, her translation disturbs and manages the emotional consequences of her father’s involvement in the sacrifice of Lady Jane Grey to fulfil the family’s political ambitions. My historicist approach juxtaposes a consideration of the play's performances in the Rose Company Theatre in 2014. Drawing on interviews with the director and actors and my observation of spectators’ reactions, I discuss the production's testing of  the script’s immediacy for audiences in a present which had its own preoccupations with the past; namely, the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.


Keywords


Jane Lumley; Euiripides; early modern women's drama; greek tragedy; first world war centenary; politics; Lady Jane Grey; gender; performance; Rose Company Theatre; all-female performance; ceremony; sacrifice

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.12745/et.18.2.2553


Alison G. Findlay
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Alison G. Findlay (a.g.findlay@lancaster.ac.uk) is professor of Renaissance drama in the department of English and creative writing at Lancaster University (UK). Her books include Playing Spaces in Early Women’s Drama (2006), Women in Shakespeare (2010), and Much Ado About Nothing: A Guide to the Text and the Play in Performance (2011). She is dramaturg to the all-female Rose Company Theatre http://www.rosecompanytheatre.com/. Currently she is working on an edition of Lady Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory, co-edited with Philip Sidney and Michael G. Brennan, and editing a special issue of the Sidney Journal, following the 2014 conference Dramatizing Penshurst: Site, Scripts, Sidneys.