The Information on: `The Oresteia'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Premiere of the late Ted Hughes's version of Aeschylus's great trilogy in which Hughes uses his own experience and poetry to probe the text and make it his own.

Who's In It?

Katie Mitchell's modern-dress production, staged in a stark traverse arrangement, is brilliantly acted all round - especially by Lilo Baur as a Cassandra heartrendingly straitjacketed in a wedding dress and by Anastasia Hille, as a blonde, chilling but also complex Clytemnestra.

What They Say About It

"A production of genius... a version that for all its mighty turbulences and vivid violence possesses the deep underlying sanity of great art. The whole experience, which stretched from 1pm to 10pm, has you dusting down the word `transcendent'," Paul Taylor, The Independent.

"Ted Hughes's new version of the drama is outstanding... Mitchell, however, has turned an inexhaustible masterpiece into a glib anti-war morality play," The Daily Telegraph.

"But alas, no account of the production can remain blind to its faults for very long. Overall, it is a flop - laboured, gimmick-ridden and quite often plain boring," The Sunday Telegraph.

"This is a genuine millennial Oresteia. Its moral values are those of the UN inspector; its art that of the Post-Modern and the multimedia practitioner. But there remains enough of Aeschylean religion to retain the trilogy as one, more than enough dramatic fire to inspire the jaded modern audience," The Times.

Where You Can See It

The Oresteia is at the Cottesloe Theatre, London SE1 (0171-452 3000) in rep, booking to 29 Jan