Alexander

The two plays can be seen as complete plays in their own right or as two parts of a whole. They are not suitable for anyone under 12.

Alexander is a new verse play, written and directed by Margaret Pritchard, and performed by a cast of ten.

Macedon’s Heir covers Alexander’s early life, from his birth until he has become King and begun his war against Persia. Alexander’s parents are Philip, King of Macedon and his wife Olympias, but their marriage is fully of jealousy and intrigue. Alexander is given the best education possible, with the Greek philosopher Aristotle as his tutor. He also learns the arts of war and becomes a formidable fighter. Hephaistion, a young man of noble birth becomes his lover, a relationship that will last throughout their lives. Following a second marriage and the birth of another son, a possible threat to Alexander, Philip is assassinated and Alexander becomes King. Initially he moves to dispel rebellion throughout Greece, then, once his kingdom is secure, he leaves for Persia, never to see Greece again.

New Worlds and Nightfall begins with Alexander’s attacks on Persia, which succeed very quickly. Before long, the whole of Persia has been defeated and he has become Emperor. This, however, is not enough for Alexander and his takes his armies even further east, towards India, where he expects to be able to get back to Greece by sea. However, the size and climate of India is too much even for Alexander, and his army wishes to return home. He eventually returns to Babylon, where Hephaistion catches a fever and dies, followed shortly by Alexander, at the age of 33. After his death, his empire falls apart, his mother is murdered and his only son is also killed.

This is a very interesting and brave production. It does not shy away from Alexander’s failings, neither as a man nor as a King. His is not a noble vision of setting up a stable empire, nor of installing democratic government. In fact, he hardly seems to care about governing his countries. His main motivations are to fight and to win. There is also no embarrassment about Alexander’s sexuality, which was not seen as unusual for the time.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

Augustine’s. Part I: Macedon’s Heir 4th - 16th August (even dates). 14:45 (1h). Part II: New Worlds and Nightfall 5th - 17th August (odd dates) 14:45 (1h10)

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