Tempus Fugit: Troy and Us

The Greeks knew a lot about war and told great tales of heroism, victory and defeat. From the wealth of material in that genre, co-creators and performers Genevieve Dunne and Jonathan D’Young, a husband and wife team with a nine-month-old son Orien and their dog, Suki, have reimagined a classic tale to construct Tempus Fugit: Troy and Us, using classic Greek theatrical techniques.

Original imaginative production with moving performance

In their masks, they take us back to the Trojan War and the tragic fate of mighty Hector and his wife Andromache. Unmasked, they appear on stage as Bea and Alec. They meet and form a relationship that starts out well until Alec is posted to Afghanistan. As a soldier’s wife, Bea always knew that this might happen, but that doesn’t make the reality any easier, especially when a second and third posting comes along. With those encounters comes PTSD and Bea is faced with the trauma of her husband’s declining mental health and the possibility of his death on duty each time he goes away.

It’s not an uncommon story but in this version, Bea gets drawn into a radio adaptation of The Iliad which is interspersed with the 21st-century story using imaginative mask work in the fantasy relationship Bea develops with Hector, the ultimate hero, who stands in stark contrast with the demon-haunted Alec. Wooden blocks are frequently reconfigured to create settings and locations, their siting being incorporated into scenes of physical theatre and dance, making for smooth and entertaining transformations.

Tempus Fugit: Troy and Us was developed in collaboration with Dr Alice König, senior lecturer in the St Andrews University School of Classics, who runs the interdisciplinary Visualising War Project and has carried out extensive research into 'how war stories work and what they do to us'.

This one works very well and creates an original imaginative production with moving performances that casts light on the realities of army life and the suffering it can bring to the men and women who serve as officers and just as importantly their oft-forgotten wives.

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The Blurb

The doorbell rings, a radio crackles – ancient and modern conflicts collide as the wife of a soldier fighting in Afghanistan is plunged into her own memories and into visions of the Trojan War. Tales from antiquity speak to her present and hold the keys to her future. A 'masterclass in text-based realism… physical storytelling and mask work' (PocketsizedTheatre). Inspired by Homer’s Iliad and interviews with 21st-century military personnel and partners, this critically acclaimed production explores the love, joy and grief of a couple grappling with the shadows of war. **** (LondonTheatre1.com).

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