Trafalgar Studios – until 7 November 2015
This is a review I’ve been pondering for a week or more now: where to start was my biggest issue. The epic proportions of this show are hard to comprehend, namely because, when you think about it, this is a trilogy of Greek tragedies that were written over 2000 years ago circa 458 BC. So you may be forgiven for thinking what relevance this theatrical event of the year has in today’s society?
The key elements of the tale are as relevant today as always in differing ways and not as extreme as we see here: family, trust, retribution, revenge, judgement and honour. What constitutes a tragedy that has such devastating consequences is witnessed here in a full spectacle of a show. This is not for the faint-hearted; it’s hard-hitting, intense and insanely cleverly done. I did witness someone walking out which struck me as proof of the play’s truly believable potency.
The actors are all outstanding. Lia Williams showed a defiant, dominant powerful strength to her matriarchal character which was magnificent to watch. Angus Wright as the male figurehead, torn between his people and his family was simply tremendous.
ANGUS WRIGHT AND LIA WILLIAMS IN ORESTEIA. BY MANUEL HARLAN.
Both Jessica Brown Findlay and Luke Thompson bring an intensity to their roles and you are left wondering and intrigued by their characters. The set is like the play complex however with an underlying simplicity that is easy to follow, which is an added thankful respite as it doesn’t detract from the incredible acting.
JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY AND ANGUS WRIGHT IN ORESTEIA. BY MANUEL HARLAN
The play at three hours forty is long unlike this review, which I will keep brief. The reason being, this is my theatre event of the year and one production which is simply not to be missed! Do not be put off by the length there are suitable breaks and pauses which can be used to stretch your legs or as I often found to breath again. This is an intelligent, intellectual play and a masterclass in acting. There are no spoilers here other than to say – Who is right Who is wrong? A life for a life? Become the judge and the jury go and see Oresteia my theatre event of 2015!
ORESTEIA – Trafalgar Studios West End Until 7th November
By Caroline Hanks-Farmer