Oresteia (York Theatre Royal, 12th February 2009)

This is a young cast, so we don’t see the difference in ages between characters in physical appearance, but in a production which draws attention to itself as theatre. This production has echoes of the company’s earlier production, A Clockwork Orange with its audience interaction and a leftover bowler hat from A Clockwork Orange appears now and again. This is the story of Oresteia abandoned by his mother and seeking revenge. It is not as violent as A Clockwork Orange, but as this is a play about murder in the family, it is just as savage.

On entering the theatre the audience is greeted by cast members, white faced as if the are the walking dead. The Fates are dressed in black with top hats, dark round framed sun glasses looking like Victorian funeral directors. They bring out their pocket watches as if the clock is ticking on audience and characters. When Clytemnestra is about to die, poisened by her own son, the Fates stand behind oberving their watches ready to cut a thread. It is a production that works really well in the studio space and a really engaging use of metatheatre. Masks are used in interesting ways, particulary to represent the massess and Cassandra represented by a puppet, the different voices giving a real sense of her madness and prophersying powers. Actors change easily between the roles.

The production moves on at a pace and there is no interval.

Previews and Reviews

The Oresteia, The Studio, York Theatre Royal (F…
The Oresteia, The Studio, York Theatre Royal, until February 14 (From York Press)
Review: The Oresteia, Belt Up Theatre, The Studio, York Theatre Royal until February 14 (From York
Preview: The Oresteia, The Studio, York Theatre…

Orestia York Theatre Royal

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