Ella Turk-Thompson suggests that Euripides would have been “baffled and probably horrified” by the way Women of Troy had been interpreted for a modern audience. I don’t agree. I think he’d have been proud.
The characters were well defined and accessible. I understood the plot and flow of the story – something that can be very difficult to achieve with a play that is almost 2,500 years old.
Of course Women of Troy is not a fun play. At its heart is the pain and loss suffered by the most disempowered and vulnerable in society during times of war. Joseph Bentley played Talthybius in a khaki uniform, anachronistically helping to define the utter powerlessness of the women. Nikki Dunsford’s mournful singing led a chorus that fully revealed the pain of loss, and the underscore mirrored and fuelled the emotive performance. Claire Lewis truly brought Hecuba to life, and I thought that Shaila Alvarez played Helen’s desperate situation with moving depth.
Thought provoking, this performance had touches of brilliance, and overall a piece of work well done. It was my first visit to the New Venture, but it certainly won’t be my last.
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