Iphigenia clutches her teddy-bear
Have invested in a half-price ticket for the Almeida’s five-star, critically-acclaimed, award-winning *chorusless* Oresteia. That may turn out to have been a brave decision…
Brave? How about reckless?
With Greek drama, the first and main question is what they have done with the chorus. If they’ve just left it out, the only thing is to stay away. I knew that perfectly well. But I was curious.
The portion I succeeded in sitting through was misguided in the way I expected, but rather more inept. The remaining 2/3 *may* have been wonderful, But I somehow doubt it. Let’s hope for better luck with ‘Tamburlaine’ tomorrow!
the first bit of the Oresteia is usually the best! I have a ticket for 19th September frown emoticon
The first part here is more like the adapter’s ruminations on ‘Iphigeneia in Aulis’, so his ‘Agamemnon’ may follow after. I was in a very small minority with my views here, so you will soon be able to judge between me and the rest of the world. Call me Antigone…or an old man with wrinkled female dugs…or Cassandra would be quite appropriate…
so the first third still hasn’t reached Agamemnon? that doesn’t sound good
No it was Iphigenia in Aulis, but different. **SPOILER** Iphigenia is not a young woman of marriageable age by the rather regrettable Greek standards, able to understand and comment on what she is suffering, but a primary-school-age girl who is chemically put down without knowing the first thing about it…
The whole point about Greek tragedy, indeed Greek literature in general, is that you suffer the most terrible things, but you are able to see them, to understand them, and to react to them in words. The deliberate unmerited killing of a young woman who has the agency to understand, react and express is the extremity of human evil while it is still human. Putting down an unaware little girl like an unwanted dog is something very different and much, much worse–the kind of punishment the divinity will inflict on you for the first misdeed.
It is hard to imagine that a random person plucked off the street could react with words so inadequate if he found himself in Agamemnon’s position. Some poetry–even the poetry of pauses–is obligatory. What we had here might at best pass for some also-ran Ibsen in the hands of a third-rate translator.
oooh well I think I will just close my eyes for now and hope it is all better than I am imagining it!
Closing your eyes won’t help you with Clytaemnestra’s Samantha-Cameron-style mockney accent. But–who knows!–there may be a Cassandra and she may rave & rage like no Cassandra has ever done before…
Sam Cam as Clytemnestra! sacrilege! Though there is the germ of a good idea if we could get her an axe …
It was Blair who deserved an axe. Cameron is more of an Aegisthus.
Actually, if you don’t come handicapped by knowledge of Greek drama, or modern theatrical practice, and you go to a matinee so that you don’t have a pressing need to go home for your tea and some chores, this may be a perfectly acceptable way of spending some time.
It apparently enjoyed some success in North London.
There’s a ticket offer on the Almeida site here and the Leicester Square booth may well have tickets on the day; Theatremonkey may also have some offers.