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IlĂ­ada: July 09/July 2010

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Iliada, an acclaimed all-female version of the Iliad, was produced as a co-venture between Tant per Tant and Q-ars Teatre for the 2009 Barcelona International Grec Festival. It was based on the Alessandro Baricco adaptation of The Iliad, created and directed by Tom Bentley-Fisher, with dramaturgical work by Elisabet Ràfols.

The production sold-out its run at the festival, was extended, and remounted in several Catalan theatres during the 2009/2010 season. In July 2010 the production, then translated from Catalan to Spanish, was invited to be part of the prestigious Festival de Teatro Clásico de Mérida, Spain, where it performed in Teatro Romano, built in the first century BC and designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

The production was one of seven productions chosen for the festival, where thousands of visitors view classical works performed in the famous Roman theatre during July and August. Bentley-Fisher returned to re-stage the play, where it received an outstanding reception and has helped to give Tant per Tant an international profile.

Iliada was created in conjunction with some of Catalan’s finest actresses and theatre professionals. Unlike a traditional rehearsal period in Canada, Tom and Elisabet were able to work with the artists for a full three months on the play before it first presentation. This involved writing in the evenings, translating into Catalan in the mornings, and arriving with fresh material for the actors in the afternoons.

The process went through several stages of development, beginning with intense workshops introducing the actors to Tom’s specific way of approaching character transformation, and culminating in the creation and rehearsal Periods. .

The result was a production that looked at the Iliad through the eyes of five women who emerge from a vast stretch of white sand, surrounded by voices of the past. In discovering the story these women experience the female characters from both sides of the war as well as the plights of women who have endured war throughout history.

The intention of our approach was to look at these women not as victims, but as women propelled to search for clues that might give them a new understanding not only of this war, but of all wars. What must it be like to live your life in the midst of a war that goes on forever – to know that another bomb might fall at any moment – to give birth, knowing that the war on the other side of the walls will devour your children in the same way it devours your husbands? Is there something in a story that has been told for generations that can help us understand the current violence in the world?  Although the solutions may be out of our reach, we felt these questions must always be asked, and asked with ferocity.

ILÍADA – Premiere Production


This play was originally produced by Q-Ars Teatre in its Catalan version in Barcelona, in July and August 2009.


Based and inspired by the book by Alessandro Baricco

Created and directed by Tom Bentley-Fisher

Dramaturgy by Tom Bentley-Fisher and Elisabet Ràfols

Catalan translation by Anna Casassas

Original Cast: Mercè Anglès, Mercè Arànega, Anna Güell, Àngels Sánchez, Mar Ulldemolins

Assistant director: Joan Mª Segura

Set and costume design: Montse Amenós

Sound design: Bárbara Granados

Lighting: Sylvia Kuchinow

Graphic design: Albert Villaplana

Photography: Ramon Anglès

Executive production: Cristina Raventós

Production assistant: Gonzalo Mascheroni

Costume production: Goretti


Production Credit: Q-ARS Teatre In co-production with Festival de Barcelona “GREC”, CAET (Centre d’arts escèniques de Terrassa) and CAER (Centre d’arts escèniques de Reus), and in collaboration with Biblioteca de Catalunya, Sala Muntaner, Tant per Tant, and Bodega Maset del Lleó and Sal Costa.