Below is our preview, giving background information about the show.
Artistic Director Rupert Goold caught many by surprise when he announced the Almeida Theatre will stage a season of Ancient Greek plays. “We are taking the Greeks out of the Attic” he declared. Oresteia, the first show of the season was a revelation: arrestingly fresh and relevant. We loved it so much we saw it twice (that's almost eight hours of tragedy). So we are thrilled to learn that Oresteia will transfer to the West End's Trafalgar Studios.
Oresteia summary: murder, betrayal and revenge
Aeschylus' dramatic and bloody tale of justice and revenge takes one of the most famous stories from Greek mythology, that of the vicious circle of murder and reprisal that rips apart the House of Atreus, and uses it to examine transition from barbarism to civilized reason.
Before setting out for the Trojan War, King Agamemnon attempts to win over the gods by sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia, an act which appals and traumatises his wife, Queen Klytemnestra.
Many years later, Agamemnon returns to his palace the victor in a war that will pass into legend. But there is no warm welcoming party waiting. For years, Klytemnestra has plotted her revenge and when her husband arrives, the Queen grabs her chance, murdering him for the unjust slaughter of their daughter and installing her lover on the throne.
Is this justice? Is it fair that an unjust act demands another in retribution? And if so, what now for Orestes, the estranged son of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra, who must avenge his father’s death by murdering his own mother?
Oresteia: London revivals
This particular Greek tragedy is rarely performed – in fact this will be the first major London production of Oresteia for more than a decade. But its revival seems to be part of a trend: the Almeida Oresteia preceded Rory Mullarky's apdaption of the epic, coming to the Globe this summer.
Robert Icke: director and innovator
With Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke at the helm, this production is radical. His creative partnership with Rupert Goold began at innovative theatre company Headlong, and both brought some of this boldness with them to the Almeida. Icke is renowned for divisive and ambitious productions including a searing adaptation of 1984, which has also transferred to the West End and the divisive and edgy Mr Burns (Almeida 2014).
In an interview, Icke described his vision of directing as “scrubbing off 300 years of stage history…trying to convince your audience they don’t know the play as well as they thought". With the Oresteia, Icke does a masterful job or wiping aware 2,500 years of theatre history in a fresh and vivid production.
Actress Lia Williams: Klyemnestra
Lia Williams was a tour-de-force as Klytemnestra so we are delighted that the Olivier and Tony nominated actress with reprise her role for Oresetia's West End transfer.
|What||Oresteia, Trafalgar Studios|
14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY | MAP
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
22 Aug 15 – 07 Nov 15, 7:00 PM – 10:40 PM
|Price||£29.50 - £65|
|Website||Click here to book via ATG Tickets|