by Phil Willmott after Plautus.
by Lisa Kuma from the Trojan War plays by Euripides.

The Scoop
Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2DB to 30 August 2015.
Wed-Sun 6pm and 8pm.
Runs 1hr 15 mins no interval & 2hr 20 mins One interval/

TICKETS: This is a free event.

Review: William Russell 19 August.

Rain stopped play – sadly.
The vagaries of the English summer can play havoc with open air theatre and this season it has done for the annual Free Season at this arena just outside City Hall.

The opening play devised and directed by Phil Willmott is based on the comedy by Plautus about the mix up caused when identical twins, separated at birth, end up in the same city – Shakespeare used it for Comedy of Errors. The Willmott version owes a lot to those Up Pompei scripts written for Frankie Howerd and is none the worse for that. The slapstick and audience participation keep the children it is aimed at happy while the double entendres can be enjoyed by their elders.

The puns are outrageous and Paul Kendrick and Eddie Eyre make a splendid pair of anything but identical twins.

Women of Troy reveals the players’ versatility as it is serious stuff.

Agamemnon is becalmed on the way to Troy to fetch Helen, his brother Menelaus’s fugitive wife. To placate the Gods he must sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia.

Lisa Kumar has fashioned Euripides Trojan War plays into a two part work, the first half focusing on the Greeks, the second on the Trojans. Sadly rain brought it to a halt just before Act 1 was due to end.

It is a bold attempt, but Ms Kumar’s language, deliberately colloquial, does not always rise to the demands of the material. As Iphigenia, however, Hannah Kerin gives a deeply felt and very moving performance as she facesup to what her much loved father is demanding., while Phil Willmott is an imposing Agamemnon and Penelope Day an impressively outraged Clytemnestra. Sadly the rain prevented one from seeing what Ursula Mohan, a hilarious old bag in the Plautus play, made of Hecuba. It is a hugely topical subject, the ravages of war, and the play is not just ambitious, but its ambitions are fulfilled. In the end, however, it was a case of Grexit.

Captain Show-Off
Battalaxia, Queen of Waitross: Penelope Day.
Ariadne, her slave: Jasmeen James.
Timmidius, her son: Paul Kendrick.
Aroggantus, her other son: Eddie Eyre.
Foximinx, his wife: Anne Odeke
Capter-Traffica, a slave merchant: Joseph O’Malley.
The Shiftuchics: Emily Stitch & Hannah Kerin.
Stenchapix, landlord of the Cock & Bull: Joseph Wicks.
Oldchronia: Ursula Mohan.

Women of Troy
Agamemnon: Phil Willmott.
Menelaus: Joseph O’Malley.
Odysseus: Eddie Eyre.
Clytemnestra: Penelope Day.
Iphigenia: Hannah Kerin.
Achilles: Eddie Eyre.
Soldier: Paul Kendrick.
Calchus: Anne Odeke.
Priestess: Jasmeen James.
Hecuba: Ursula Mohan.
Cassandra: Hannah Kerin.
Andromache: Jasmeen James.
Trojan women: Anne Odeke, Penelope Day, Hannah Kerin & Emily Stitch.
Helen: Emily Stitch.
Polymestor: Terence Frisch.

Director: Phil Willmott.
Choreographer: Francesca Bridge-Cicic.
Composer & Sound Designer: Theo Holloway.
Set & Costume Designer: Sarah June Mills.
Lighting Designer: Phil Supple.

2015-08-22 12:29:42

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