The Scoop's sunken amphitheatre is a natural fit for Phil Willmott's ambitious adaptation of Aeschylus's 'Oresteia' trilogy, the latest in Steam Industry Theatre's annual series of free outdoor shows.
The sequence kicks off with the child-friendly 'The Trojan Horse', which makes a song and dance of the siege of Troy and is a refresher if you're rusty on the mythology. Beneath the teen-speak is a fun, old-fashioned musical romp with hit-and-miss Carry On-style innuendo.
The tone darkens with the sky. 'Agamemnon' shows the murder of the titular Greek king by his wife Clytemnestra after the Trojan War, while 'Orestes' follows the fate of Agamemnon's avenging son. The script clunks in places, but it's powered by an energetic cast, who inhabit troubled versions of their characters from the first play.
There's little sense of post war glory in Willmott's take on Aeschylus. The chorus is a wheelchair-bound veteran, soldiers are traumatised and families are devastated. Clytemnestra (a sympathetic Natalia Campbell) destroys Agamemnon's stage-managed triumphalism, raging against a society that leaves its women to pick up the pieces.
'Orestes' begins knee-deep in blood and ends in democracy, with Willmott casting us as the citizens responsible for deciding the matricidal son's fate. It's gimmicky but pleasing – the gods no longer in the picture, overshadowed instead by the GLA.
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Give it 6 stars! Fantastic acting and improvisation. Brilliant entertainment. Who needs TV when you've got this? GLA- we want MORE please.
the 3 plays were great. the first and third plays are the best though. great characters, loved the animatronic owl, and also the furies were fantastic too, though great acting all round, highly recommended show, and its free, amazing!!!
Excellent - a really enjoyable evening, watched all 3 plays and became increasingly captivated even through it rained hard in the second play. The power of the acting in the final part was amazing. If you can get to see stay for it all; it,s worth it.
We were lucky and the rain held off. We had a really wonderful evening. I went last year and really enjoyed it and if anything this year it was even more enjoyable. The Trojan Horse is a fabulous fun romp and it was amazing to see so many kids so enthralled by a story of ancient Greeks! Both the adult plays tell the story really clearly and some of the acting was fantastic, especially when one of the actors had a really passionate speech and easily managed to fight the noise of an overhead helicopter! It's so amazing that this is on for free every year. Looking forward to going again.
Not nearly as good as last year which i think was the same company - around the world was fab. Child friendly it is not. Crude jokes not child friendly or women friendly either - sexist and cheap . No real tale here and writjng Dreadful . Must try harder.