Antigoni Spanou writes about the different themes that encompass “Ophelia Rewound” as well as the character of Ophelia.
“Ophelia Rewound” is playing from Thur 22 – Sat 24 August 2019 at 9pm and Sun 25 August 7.15pm as part of Camden Fringe 2019. Click here for more information.
The themes of the performance are many. Someone might argue that that is a cop-out of an answer. But
how can you distil an autobiographical piece into one single theme? It represents a (time in your) life, and
whose life only has one theme?
So Ophelia Rewound is about many things; it begins at the point of suicide and talks about depression,
heartbreak, unrealistic expectations, dead ends and the fight to find a way out, as well as one’s self.
I started researching the character of Ophelia back in 2009, a dark moment in my life. I was suffering
with depression only at the time I wasn’t aware of it. Life was feeling overwhelming and even simple
tasks like getting out of bed or jumping into the shower felt like Herculean tasks. I started pulling away
from friends and social occasions and suffered constant bouts of crying. And even still I thought I was
just unhappy and this would go away. Only it didn’t. Things became worse and worse. The pain was too
much; and I still didn’t think I was depressed, because I didn’t know what depression was supposed to
look/feel like. But I did feel like I was losing my mind.
And then a day in 2010 came where I started wondering if it would be better to just end it all. And that
thought, which almost turned into action that day, scared me to my core. But I was lucky that I managed
to reach out, ask for help and receive it. And that was the beginning of a very long journey; of trying to
find my way back to myself or perhaps to find my way back to a new version of myself.
This journey took a very long time and the one distant figure that kept me company was Ophelia. I started
seeing her reflection, the similarities in our stories. A heartbroken woman who never really expresses
what is going on under the surface. A woman lost in pain. A woman that is seen as mad. A woman that
ends her life.
And I started wondering; what would have happened to Ophelia if someone had reached out to her or if
she had reached out to someone? How would that affected her story? Because I was sure there was more
to Ophelia than what we get to see [in Hamlet]. There’s more in all of us; we just simply need to look
under the surface, under the pain and we need to be able to recognise the signs, to offer our hand.
So this is what Ophelia Rewound is about. A story in reverse, seen differently, showing two women, any
two women, all of us. A narrative that can change.