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Electra (ITV 1962, Antonios Xenakis, Aspassia Papathanassiou)



Electra, completely performed in the original Greek no less, was based on a 2500 year old play by Sophocles and was made at a time when television was willing to treat its audience as intelligent adults.

The plot concerns King Agamemmon, commander of the Greek army discovering when he returns from battle that his wife Queen Clytemnestra has taken a lover, Aegisthus and has put him on the throne in her husbands place. Agememmon is killed by his wife and her lover and his son is forced into exile. Agemmemmon’s sister Electra is determined to get her revenge.

The play was performed by the Piraikon Greek Tragedy Theatre and was considered important enough to be given the TV Times cover for it’s week of broadcast. The BBC mounted a less ambitious version in 1974 in their Play of the Month slot.

production details
UK / ITV – Associated-Rediffusion / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast Wednesday 28 November 1962 @ 9.45pm

Writer and Director: Joan Kemp Welch / Play: Sophocles / Choreographer: Louika / Production Design: Michael Yates / Producer for the Piraikon Theatre Company: Dimitrios Rondiris

Antonios Xenakis as Paedagogus
Dimitri Veakis as Orestes
Ionnas Malas as Pylades
Aspassia Papathanassiou as Electra
Anthi Kariofili as Chrysothemis
Georgia Saris as Clytemnestra
Dimitri Malavetas as Aegisthus