Moira Buffini re-imagines the Thebes of Greek mythology as a contemporary
Liberia-like state, turning Eurydice, the usually silent wife of Creon, into
his widow and putting her centre stage as elected president of a new
democracy made bankrupt by civil war.
After an intermittently slow first half, this skilful reworking springs back
to life when the promise of aid from David Harewood’s imposing, Obama-like
Theseus, first citizen of superpower Athens, is threatened both by the
refusal of Nikki Amuka-Bird’s Eurydice to be treated as anything but an
equal and by the scheming opposition.
Confidently directed by Richard Eyre, this is a big, brave, ambitious
production, combining a playful attitude to the source material with
unflinching honesty about the devastation of war and the eternally tricksy
nature of political manoeuvring.
Olivier at the National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX
020 7452 3000
Currently in rep until 19th August
but has been extended – dates not yet available
£10 – £30 as part of the
Review: Louise Kingsley