Aylin Bozok on her production of SAMSON AND DELILAH

WhatsOnStage Award-winning director Aylin Bozok has returned to Grimeborn with a bold take on Camille Saint-Saëns’ extraordinary biblical epic Samson And Delilah

My vision is to tell the story of Samson and Delilah in a dreamlike, surrealist environment far detached from any form of realism so it can be felt on a psychological level rather than a sociological or political one.

The chorus represents thoughts which attach themselves to different characters dependent on the scene in which they appear. They add both a quality of surrealism and of revelation of the Unconscious which we do not always see but which is present in any every action we take while conscious or which presents itself in the most abstract ways in our dreams.

At the same time, I want to play with the good and bad sides of characters by making us lose perception and feel unsafe since we cannot truly see which is a good one or a bad one. I want to show that both do coexist within a character exactly as they do in all of us.

By doing so I am aiming for an individual journey of an “awakening to the inside” which holds not only beautiful things but also dark realities. When confronting or facing these realities rather than denying or suppressing them, this leads us to become more powerful as human beings.

Samson, the human being, is strongly connected to his God that he treats as a vision in Act 1 and 2 and who is ‘killed’ before Act 3. His God, his sun, is his only source of light and abandons him in Act 3 which leaves him blind and weak. Only when Samson realises that real power lies in an internalised God rather than a vision of him, does he become more stronger than ever and manages to crush his enemies in their entirety. To connect to his power spiritually, Samson must awaken to his inner world and face his fears and demons, all alone and deprived from his most needed sense, the sense of sight.

In Act 1, Samson fantasies about Delilah as a vision dressed as the moon, another very important source of light, though only a reflection of the sun and not a source of light in itself. Therein lies the reason why Samson feels love towards both of them and does not know which one to choose. The answer, maybe both, maybe neither, is his choice. Though his vision of God tries to divert him from Delilah while speaking through Abimelech’s corpse, Samson will find himself in the arms of his real Delilah in Act 2, though she is not as sweet as his fantasised view of her.

Whereas Delilah’s love for Samson is to possess him all for herself and where she would like to kill Samson’s vision of God, the High Priest’s wish to make him disappear is purely to replace him. The High Priest is a man consumed by his fears captured in his memories and within the present – all of which are represented here by the two Philistines and the Messenger. Never facing them, and only denying them, he signals for his death the moment he is blinded by the Sun.

Samson And Delilah is now on stage until 26 August, part of Grimeborn. Tickets and more information here.