Euripides (c. 480–406 BC) was a tragedian of classical Athens, the author of nearly a hundred plays, of which only 18 or 19 have survived more or less complete. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly due to chance and partly because his popularity grew as theirs went into decline.
Brendan Kennelly’s version of Euripides’ Medea was first performed by the Medea Theatre Company in the Dublin Theatre Festival at the Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall on 8 October 1988. It was revived on 6 July 1989 at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, prior to a tour of England which took in the Purcell Room at London’s South Bank Centre. The text was first published in book form by Bloodaxe Books in 1991.
Kennelly’s version of The Trojan Women was first performed at the Peacock Theatre, the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 2 June 1993, with the text published by Bloodaxe Books launched at the first performance.
The texts of his versions of the two Euripides plays are no longer available as separate editions, but can now be found, along with his version of Sophocles’ Antigone, in Kennelly’s compilation When Then Is Now: Three Greek Tragedies (Bloodaxe Books, 2006).