Even though the weather is colossally shit tonight, it did add extra atmosphere to the performance of Trojan Women. There’s nothing like the slightly alarming creaking of the Barron theatre to instil dread in the hearts of a hapless audience (me).
Directed by Orsolya Haynes and produced by Aradhana Kiran, Euripides’ ‘Trojan Women’ depicts the harrowing aftermath of war on the women of Troy. The play follows the fates of the Trojan royal family as they are put through the consequences of the war on their city, their husbands dying, children killed, and themselves subject to a new life of servitude to men – through slavery or marriage. (Photo credit: Bella Mia)
The choice to use the round is also one I agree with, not only because it aligns with the theme of play, but also because circles are my second favourite shape. This allows for some very satisfying scene composition, especially scenes in which Helen (Iha Jha) appears, and the chorus surrounds her in a very cultlike, yet geometrically satisfying fashion. Spotlights are used to their maximum effect, and in this setting they were hugely successful – again, I really enjoyed Iha Jha’s scenes. Although I did have to turn around to view the slideshow/monologue at the start, this layout also allowed me to sit in what is usually the upstage area of the theatre, which gives me access to the best view of all: the tech booth (hello, Ava Pegg-Davies).
Some standout performers included the very dynamic Emily Speed, who delivered an emotive performance as Hecabe: who has to watch as the final traces of her old way of life, and that of her children, is torn down around her. Anna-Marie Regner as Andromache was also a harrowing watch in a scene that made you want to hit Felix Da Silva Clamp – who was playing a soldier at the time, not just in general. The chorus provide excellent emotional backup and also demonstrate incredible leg strength, as they are lying down for much of the play. Personally, I would have cramped up.
Another aspect to note was the makeup, as in all of the victims of war are covered in very believable wounds. For a good five minutes, I did think there had been a dispute behind the curtains. Hecabe and Cassandra’s (Mary Kalinski) costumes were very demonstrative of their characters, and definitely helped add to their respective performances - although this may just be me saying I like long skirts.
As someone who usually doesn’t watch anything more intellectually stimulating than a comedy, Trojan Women was absolutely worth it. The play comments on the aftereffects of a tragic event and focuses perspective on those who are often forgotten. A great cast and production team helps bring this to life and allows the audience to reflect on current day events - and definitely left me with a thoughtful walk home.
erin (any pronouns)