Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Phaedra @ Lyttleton Theatre...

Last week Stuart and I went to see Simon Stone's fantastic contemporary take on Greek tragedy Phaedra at the Lyttleton Theatre on London's glitzy Southbank.
Having brilliantly staged Lorca’s Yerma with Billie Piper, Stone's version of Phaedra - played as a comedy - is simply stunning. 
In the traditional version, Phaedra tries it on with her step-son. He rebuffs her. Snubbed, she falsely accuses him of rape. He gets torn apart by horses as a punishment. She, racked with guilt, eventually commits suicide. Tough stuff.
In Stone’s extensive contemporary retelling, the central character is now called Helen (Janet McTeer, her off of Ozark), a wealthy middle-aged Shadow Minister, married to British-Iranian diplomat Hugo (Paul Chahidi). The life with their son in modern-day Holland Park. The object of Helen’s passion is not a stepson, but Sofiane (Assaad Bouab, him off of Call My Agent), the exiled son of a Moroccan dissident musician with whom she had an affair decades earlier. Her memories of a former passion ignite desire for her old lover’s flesh and blood, mainly flesh.  Although she's not the only one to lust after Sofiane.
The dialogue is explicit, the action equally so. The adults act like kids, the kids act like adults, and the laughs come thick and fast.  The tragedy, when it does come, is simply devastating.  
It really is a stunning piece of theatre.


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