Shadows of Troy

The other week me and a friend went to see the student production of 'Shadows of Troy' in the Oxford Playhouse. We'd seen poster in the hall of St Benet's and decided it might just be worth a watch, so, I snapped a photo of the poster, added the dates to my calendar and booked tickets.

On a rainy Saturday evening we ran to the theatre (late as always) and took our seats for a re-imaging of the Greek story of Agamemnon's sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia for winds to sale him to Troy.

I already knew of the story and I wasn't sure how they were going to present it but I was pleasantly surprised.

The set was very stripped back and minimalistic and it was very impactful with drum beats and chanting. The dialogue was at times fast paced to provide energy and tension and other times suitably calm to display the raw emotions and conflict of the characters. The use of a group of soldiers to represent a sort of Greek chorus was in my mind genius; it tied the original Greek drama set up with a modern day audience and I thought they trod that line excellently. The chorus were haunting in the chants and visually exciting in their fighting scenes and miming of stories. The use of sand on the stage was used well to represent time slipping away and the vulnerability of the characters and their mind sets. A particular highlight for me was the chanting and running with flaming torches which lit up the stage with a flickering glow and really ratcheted up the tension.

All the actors were excellent and I was surprised that they were all students. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra (his wife) were particularly good and the tender moments such as washing off blood were highly effective at showing their intimate bond.

My only qualm would be the length. Sometimes we both felt that the dialogue was a little slow and dragged out. However it's a difficult line to draw between tension and slowness which sometimes they achieved and other times less so. Nevertheless it's got me excited about Oxford theatre and I'm excited to see what else is on offer!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored. All opinions stated are my own and do not represent any third parties


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