Saturday, 5 July 2014

Theatre 2014: Review Twenty-One

Last Days of Troy, Shakespeare's Globe, London. June 2014.

New writing at the Globe has a real hit and miss reputation, however Mr Norfolkbookworm and I seem to have struck it lucky each time.  Last year Bluestockings was fantastic and this new play by Simon Armitage was equally as enjoyable.

The play is based on the last few weeks of the siege of Troy and uses Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid as source material to create a retelling of the events. The original texts are both sprawling and often confusing with many characters and interfering deities but this version simplified the cast and kept the narrative clear and easy to follow.

A few times the language seemed a little modern for the setting and the outburst from Achilles which was full of obscenity really jarred but apart from that I was swept away from the start.  I also very much liked the framing device of the immortal Gods stuck in a world where no one believes in them anymore and poor Zeus being forced to act as a living statue portraying himself and selling models of himself at an archaeological site!

We saw the last performance of this play at the Globe but if it tours or is revived then I do recommend it as it has certainly moved into my top 10 of plays seen this year so far.

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