23 June 2010

It was Father's Day weekend, so how better to spend some time with my older daughter than...

...attending a performance of Sophocles' Oedipus the King, directed by Ted Guhl, at the Hole in the Wall Theatre in New Britain.  With fine choreography for the chorus and wonderful original music by Roy Donnelly and Karl Messerschmidt, the production was well conceived, although not nearly the "experiment...[that deemphasized the] traditional elements of plot, character, development, [and] place and time..." it claimed to be.  (And I'm not sad about that at all, to be honest.)  If the chorus of Theban citizens could've taken over the whole play, I might've liked it a good deal more. 

For, indeed, I very much liked most of the production (set, lighting, sound) -- except the performances by three of the leads (Oedipus, Creon, and Tiresius).  None of them, it seemed to me, really conveyed his character in any deeply felt way.  They recited their lines clearly and forcefully, but I never really bought into any of them. 

At first, I didn't buy Jocasta, as played by Jillian M. Dion, either, but in the final scene that she played with Oedipus, as she figured out before anyone but Tiresius the horror that's been her life and the cruel fate that her son/husband will himself soon discover, she gave a noteworthy performance that made me forget everyone else on the stage.

Greek drama is hard to do, but any chance to see a live performance is worth the trip.  I only wish the leadership of Thebes had lived up to its citizens!  

No comments:

Post a Comment