THEATRE – Eurydice – Plant One – 3K

IPwVbE9KK5CIgyNKtb0EpWnJEID9dGis0dirlsueNwkBy Peter Maddern

The objective of Yasmin Gurreeboo’s Foul Play is to re-examine classic works through a prism of modern feminism, producing ambitious and experimental theatre in unexpected places. Her production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice positions itself amongst various threads of the Greek classic Orpheus in the Underworld.

Here, instead of males – both humans and spiritual Gods – behaving badly and with malice aforethought towards our heroine we see life through Eurydice’s (Annabel Matheson) eyes as a visit to the Underworld tears her between her loves for her dead father (Patrick Frost) whom she reunites with there and her living, loving husband, Orpheus (Antoine Jelk.) Her passage through these dilemmas is confused by Eddie Morrison whether as a Nasty Interesting Man or Lord of the Underworld and the three Stones; the fun police of the deep.

The performance for just a small potential audience at Plant One meets the criterion stated above of an unexpected place; it being a warehouse of sorts with lots of poles. At one level the spaces it creates are well utilised with Orpheus’s pining for his love distanced in another world a nice touch. However, with at least half of the performance happening at 90 degrees to the alignment of the seating available one wonders whether some other configuration may have worked better.

The four main players present serviceable performances with Matheson the stand out. Her struggle between her loves truly becomes ours as we feel her pain in marrying up the options. However, while the Stones are suitably noisy and Morrison is his usual bombastic on-stage self, Ruhl’s characters often seem one dimensional.

Gurreeboo’s Eurydice certainly is ambitious and she should only draw strength and courage from this production as her game plan turns to future works.

Kryztoff Rating   3K

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