Theatre in Wales

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A new classic drama

At the Sherman

Sherman Cymru- Clytemnestra , Sherman Cymru , May 1, 2012
At the Sherman by Sherman Cymru- Clytemnestra The classical Greek plays are thousands of years old so it is refreshing to come across a modern take on an old classic. Former Welsh poet laureate Gwyneth Lewis taken the lesser known Clytemnestra and put her centre-stage. She is often a peripheral figure in drama as the wife of Agamemnon, who although rarely seen is the key figure in this story.

As with most Greek tragedies the drama has already occurred off-stage with the King having given up his daughter for much-needed food. Director Amy Hodge stages the play in an impressive industrial warehouse with workers bemoaning the lack of food and on the look-out for the marauding ferrals outside. Jaye Griffiths dominates proceedings in the title role, displaying the emotional turmoil you would expect from such an situation but without over-doing the dramatics.

These classic plays are not known for their subtlety so the ending holds no real surprises, other than the abruptness of the ending. This is a slick, classy production which does not overstay its welcome. It is hard to recover the intensity following the intrusion of an interval so they wisely choose to play it straight through. Even in these days of short attention spans seventy-five minutes is not too long to maintain concentration as long as the spectacle provided is riveting.

The acting from the entire cast and the classy staging proves this is a welcome addition to the classic Greek tragedy repertoire.

Reviewed by: David Cox

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