Scenes from an execution

23, 25, 26 May ­20:30
24 May ­15:00
27 May ­19:30
French and Dutch simultaneous translation

“Artists have no power but a powerful imagination. The state has no imagination but a lot of power.” This is how the Khan company introduces Ofira Henig's intense and committed production of Howard Barker's Scenes from an Execution. The second play by the British writer to be featured at the Festival, it uses a historical event to expose political ambiguities and human alienation with a virulence ravaged by irony. It is the story of Galactia, inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi, a rebel artist in sixteenth-century Venice. Galactia is asked to paint the victory of the Republic of Venice over the Turks at Lepanto. But as she works on it, the canvas ends up revealing the violence of the massacre, the arrogance of glory and the absurd masquerade of peace. And so begins a struggle between the artist and the doge, her sponsor, while, scene after scene, the perverse strategy of recuperating the work – its “execution” – ensues.