Reviewed by Paula Citron
Luminato Festival/Necessary Angel
Written by Evie Christie (adapted from Racine)
Directed and designed by Graham McLaren
Performed by Arsinée Khanjian, Christopher Morris, Christine Horne, Steven McCarthy and Ryan Hollyman
Jun. 10 to 19, 2011
Scottish director Graham McLaren is a master at rethinking the classics. His first collaboration with Necessary Angel was the remarkable Hamlet of several years ago.
This time, he’s back for Andromache, adapted from Racine’s French classic. The text is by Toronto poet Evie Christie, who manages to combine elevated language with four letter words.
McLaren also functions as designer, setting the play in modern times. Troy has fallen and is an occupied city with soldiers looking like news clips from Iraq or Afghanistan.
This is Racine, so the passions are intense and relentless. The detail and realism in McClaren’s direction are superb. There are problems, however – ragged pacing with the poetic text, and sometimes words are lost in the theatre-in-the-round, particularly from Steven McCarthy who plays Orestes.
Nonetheless, Andromache is another fascinating theatre event at Luminato, and the cast is first class – Arsinée Khanjian, Christopher Morris, Christine Horne, Ryan Hollyman and McCarthy.
Andromache continues at the Theatre Centre until Jun. 19.