The Complete Greek Tragedies (in One Hour)
Rosemary Branch Theatre
Reviewed – 14th November 2017
“All three actors showcased undeniable talent”
Catharsis Theatre formed in 2014 with the remit of making ‘radical new adaptations of Greek drama’. They’ve certainly fulfilled that brief with The Complete Greek Tragedies (in One Hour) even if it’s in a somewhat quirky way.
The initial pretence was that the audience was in for a 31 hour epic portrayal of the complete Greek tragedies. This was soon cut short when Jake (played perfectly by Iain Gibbons) decided to air his grievances about the production to the voice of the great god above – Dionysus.
Dionysus, being a good caretaker of the theatre, implemented a plan to cut the production to just one hour. This caused panic among the other two actors. Cassie (played by the extremely talented Sophie Taylor) tried to maintain a high brow sense of decorum during the hastily curtailed performance, while Jake and Marianna (Christina Holmbek) plotted against her, to try to complete each story as succinctly as possible.
Even by trying to simplify Greek tragedy into the form of popular culture bites such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Beyonce’, the show just highlighted these classic Greek stories remain as complicated whether they are shown during an hour long production or in their entirety. Who knows who murdered the mother, the brother, the husband or the wife and goodness knows why? This production certainly didn’t do much to enlighten me, but perhaps with the ensuing chaos on stage, that was the point.
As the number and pace of the Tragedies increased, alongside the mounting number of dead characters, the cast remained stoically energetic. Their enthusiasm kept my interest, despite the lack of clarity in the storyline. All three actors showcased undeniable talent through their smooth character changes, frenzied dancing and singing alongside their all too realistic portrayal of drunkenness.
All in all, the play was an enjoyable watch but still has scope for further development.
Reviewed by Alice Taylor
Photography courtesy Catharsis Theatre
THE COMPLETE GREEK TRAGEDIES (IN ONE HOUR)
is at the Rosemary Branch Theatre until 15th November