Oresteia

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 27–Sat 29 Mar

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Oresteia

NEW WORK

Critics tend to use the phrase ‘an uncomfortable night of theatre’ to describe the effect of a challenging piece on an audience. But in Lazzi’s one man version of Aeschylus’ tragic trilogy, the discomfort extends to the actor. In this stripped to the bone version of Robert Potter’s 19th century translation, Sandy Grierson, winner of the 2007 Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland for Best Actor for his performance in Fergus Lamont, is effectively forced into a version of the notorious stress position for the entire piece.

The political resonances of this needn’t be emphasised, and Grierson, certainly Scotland’s hottest young acting prospect is keen to point out that there’s more to the piece than this. ‘The position I had to adopt was partially about something David Johnstone, the director, wanted to do to restrict me from doing a one man show with all that stuff that goes with it – we wanted to tell the story as simply as possible, because that’s where the strength lies. I suppose because of the minimal movement, it gives the audience time to ponder the changes that occur over the course of the production, from the sweat and changes of colour, even to the change of voice that occurs as an inevitable consequence of that.’ This promises a night of uncomfortable contemporary confession, which doesn’t lose touch with its classical origins.

Oresteia

New adaptation of the Aeschylus trilogy, starring Sandy Grierson. Orestes, incarcerated in prison, is tortured by his captors, and also by the self-inflicted torment of rage, guilt and a suicidal despair. He appeals to the audience as his judges. With the text pared down to an absolute minimum, and accompanied by a new…

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