The cast of the Riverside Theatre Company from Chichester College have come to Edinburgh to put on a marvellous performance of Euripides’ ‘Trojan Women’ in which they not only entertain but spread an important message that was as relevant millennia ago as it is today.
At its core, ‘Trojan Women’ is an anti-war play, that focuses on the side of the defeated. War breeds misery, loss and anguish and Hecuba, the queen of the fallen Troy, acts as the archetypal sufferer. Set in front of the smoking city, left in ruins, the mother of Hector and her subjects lament their defeat as they wait to discover their fate at the hands of the egregious Greek army.
The performance is wonderfully simple, no bells or whistles to rely on. This cast display their acting prowess as they convey the unimaginable pain these women are in. And do they ever rise to the challenge. You can hear the suffering in their weakened voices, and emotive expression as they hurl themselves to the floor in despair. But their voices remain angelic when they sing harrowing songs of lost lives and lost hope.
I appreciate the sentiment of dressing the Greek soldiers in modern military attire, but the condemnation of contemporary conflicts speaks for itself rendering this dramatic decision a touch jarring when juxtaposed with the more traditional garments of the women. But still, it is unfortunately necessary to revitalise this Euripidean masterpiece. This play and its fantastic cast perfectly highlight the poisonous effects of war, plaguing the aggressors while ruining the victims. It’s visceral, it’s emotional and to see a Greek tragedy brought to life is always beautiful.
This show is so powerful and so important. At times it can be hard to watch these invaders enact their will upon the fallen but it’s vital that we don’t turn a blind eye. ‘The Trojan Women’ is a show I think everyone should see before this wonderful group’s time in Edinburgh is up.
The Trojan Women
17:10 at Greenside Nicholson Square
August 18 – 20