Into the Labyrinth
When studying the Greek legend of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur, one may stumble upon a labyrinth of interpretations. AKS shows Ariadne's yarn as a tale of lies and deception.
Ariadne herself knew well that her father has commissioned a labyrinth – a geometrical edifice with only one and the same entrance and exit, and no dead ends – and not a maze to imprison her half brother the Minotaur. Thus she did not give Theseus the thread out of love or concern for him, but rather to inspire his dependence on her. Otherwise, the couple could have fled before Theseus faced the Minotaur in dangerous combat (indeed there had already been several unsuccessful attempts to kill the monstrosity!). So the thread is a means to an end – nothing more.
And the lion-hearted Theseus? Although he defeats the Minotaur, he is rather cowardly. No sooner has Dionysus claimed his ancient rights over Ariadne than Theseus abandons his sleeping 'love' on the isle of Naxos (reportedly he already had another), and he catapults himself to the throne when he 'forgets' to change his ship's sails from black to white – leading his father the King, on seeing this herald of defeat, to leap from a cliff to his death in the sea.
The Minotaur – half man half bull, a victim and surely aggrieved outsider, locked away in a labyrinth – did he accept the center as his retreat? Undoubtedly he had explored the corridors of his prison during his lonely hours, and had discovered the route to the exit. However, to step outside the safety of the stone walls would have meant exposing his freakish self to the world.
One can view the story from different vantage points.
Is Ariadne altruistic or manipulative?
Is Theseus a hero, or just power-hungry?
Is the Minotaur's greatest enemy the outside world, or himself?
And we, the viewers, do we have the courage to face our own unpleasant characteristics in order to truly know ourselves?
Concept, Staging, Lights, Sound
Andrea K. Schlehwein
Chandana M. Hörmann
Fernando Nicolás Pelliccioli
Salzburg (AT), 2012:
Millstatt (AT), 2012:
Klagenfurt (AT), 2010:
Theater Halle 11