Philoctetes left with the Greeks to participate in the Trojan War but was bitten on the foot by a snake while walking on Chryse, a sacred ground. The bite caused him constant agony and emitted a horrible smell. For this reason, he was left by Odysseus and the Greeks on the desert island Lemnos.
Ten years pass and the Greeks capture the Trojan seer Helenus. He foretells that they will need the master archer Philoctetes and the bow of Heracles to win the war. Odysseus sails back to Lemnos with Neoptolemus (son of Achilles) to get Philoctetes.
My interest in Philoctetes was to research the body in space, the sick body, isolation and the mind. What happens when a person is left alone and has been living in a cave for a long time? What happens when there is an unexpected human contact?
“And no one called us to the land
And no one knows the where’s or why’s
Something stirs and something tries Starts to climb toward the light…
And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky”
Echoes, Pink Floyd (1971)
Ragnar Uustal is an Estonian actor. After high school he went on to Drama School at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. After completing BA in Acting, he started working as an actor in Theatre NO99 where the ensemble worked and collaborated with different directors and performance artists. He has a physical theatre background, has participated in several short films and is interested in performance art.
Text: RAGNAR UUSTAL, GERT/KERT
Special thanks to Andreea Tudose and Gert/Kert
Premiere on 1st February 2020 in Von Krahl Theatre (Tallinn)