Trojan Women

The Trojan Woman was the final part of the Eurpides Trilogy for the City Dionysia festival in 415BC in an Athens giddy on the extremes of democracy and empire shortly after she utterly destroyed the island of Melos. The fate of the island was given the resounding echoes of the legend of Troy through this magnificent play which reveals so many of the horrors and complications of war which remain a constant. The women of Troy are in captivity, largely nobles now waiting to be taken away as slaves. All has been lost and still horror after horror comes to be faced. Due to the nature of the play in dealing with the hot topics of war, pain and suffering from the non-combatants view it is often quick to be pounced upon by people intending to apply it to a modern context. Sure enough the “Working Girls” theatre company boasts it has ‘eschewed its historical setting.’ The Illyad took such a beating with the film “Troy” and civilisation suffered so badly at the hands of “300” that I am constantly on edge when anyone takes such an approach as the programme claimed they was doing. If you’re also unnerved by this idea, I wouldn’t worry too much on this occasion because it only involved a limited use of khaki shorts. The company is from an all-girls school, so naturally the Trojan Woman would be a play high on the choice list. It is fantastic that these girls are being given the chance to get out and experience the Fringe, however it does introduce the main flaw to the show: there was very little experience in the cast. Moments of champion acting are eclipsed by the lack of development, but this will come in time and the Fringe is a great place to learn. I would still encourage people to see the show, but if you’re looking for slick performances in which each actress strongly understands their character you may not be satisfied.Our lack of knowledge for what Greek theatre was actually like gives people the legitimate chance to do what they like to those beautiful works. This is often a catastrophe, however on this front the play was very good. The dancing and chorus song used was a very befitting and tasteful mix between the unattainable ancient Greek style and our own possibly more conservative tastes. In short they were pleasant visual performances, providing a respite from the plot very well. The impact of this was increased by finding out that the girls themselves had composed the four part harmonies, which fitted appropriately.When the show lacked something in its approach to the script this was replaced by many show-stealing moments such as an astounding soprano voice, energetic heartfelt dancing and tight choreography. This youth performance does present many of the problems which stereotype such acts however there was also a lot to appreciate. While it lacked the overwhelming power the script intended, it has a pleasant undercurrent of good taste and gentle entertainment which reveals the input the girls have had in making the show their own.

Reviews by Theo Barnes

Rain

★★★★★

The Forum

★★★

Fire and the Rose

★★★★

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The Blurb

The lament of those forced to stand and watch while their world is destroyed. Euripides' classic text is re-imagined by a young cast whose freshness and energy generate something angry and passionate, ageless and new.

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