ALL is not well in Hecuba’s world as Greek tragedy takes over RSC stage at the Swan Theatre in Stratford.
Marina Carr’s version of Euripides’ play Hecuba opens at the end of the Trojan War with the city in flames and devastation.
Hecuba, the Queen of a defeated empire, sits on her husband’s throne clutching his severed head with the corpses of her sons lying at her feet. Her two daughters and her son Polydorous, who is in hiding, are all she has left in the world.
Victorious warrior king Agamemnon confronts Hecuba. He is impressed by her dignity in the face of all the horror, but plans to find and kill her son.
Polydorous faces his death with courage, asking Agamemnon that news of his death should be kept from his grieving mother.
Meanwhile Hecuba and her daughters have been loaded onto Greek ships where they are left, hungry and fearful.
Cassandra, Hecuba’s eldest daughter, foresees future torments and death while younger daughter Polyxena tries to comfort her mother.
But there is further pain for Hecuba when Polyxena is offered as a human sacrifice – for the wind and for slain warrior Achilles.
And just when it appears things cannot get any worse for Hecuba they do – when she discovers the body of her son, and grief overtakes her completely.
Derbhle Crotty returns to the RSC to play Hecuba, having previously played Lady Macbeth and Lady Duncan in the 2007 repertory season of Macbeth and Ionesco’s Macbett.
Also returning is RSC Associate Artist Ray Fearon as Agamemnon, who has worked extensively with the Company, most recently as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar.
Hecuba runs from September 17 to October 17.
visit www,rsc.og.uk for tickets and further details.
Derbhle Crotty returns to the RSC to play the title-role of Hecuba. (s)