The spoils of victors

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

THE HORROR: Jan Hunt as Hecuba, Siobhan Caulfield as Xena and Joshua Holloway as Neo in Hecuba Reimagined. Picture: Stray Dogs Theatre.HAS anything really changed in relation to warfare in the past 2500 years? That is the question examined in Newcastle playwright Carl Caulfield’s Hecuba Reimagined, a contemporary reworking of a classic Greek play.

Athenian writer Euripides penned Hecuba about five years into a long and destructive war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies.

The play looks at a mythological conflict between Greek forces and the city state, Troy, on the opposite side of the Aegean Sea. While stories about the Trojan war were popular in Greece, given that the myths had the Greek states being victorious, Euripides was more critical in Hecuba about the way the defeated people were treated and the impact the fighting had on some of the victors.

The legends had members of the Trojan royal family, male and female, being slain, and army leaders and governing officials also being killed.

The title character in Hecuba is the Trojan king’s wife, who is appalled by the behaviour of the victors and takes actions aimed at avenging her family members and protecting other people.

Athenian leaders weren’t happy about Euripides’s treatment of the war in the play, which was first staged around 425BC, and he went into voluntary exile in another Greek state a few years later.

Stray Dogs Theatre, a company associated with Carl Caulfield, is staging Hecuba Reimagined at the Civic Playhouse from October 12. Caulfield used a contemporary English translation of the play by former Newcastle University classics and drama lecturer Michael Ewans as the basis for his reworking.

The staging, which includes references to recent conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria, looks at the horrors of modern warfare, with drug taking rife among commanders, soldiers suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), people placed in detention camps, and revenge executions – one of which is shown on television.

Jan Hunt, who plays Hecuba, said watchers will be able to relate to the play, which shows how far her character, as a mother, is prepared to go in an effort to save one of her children from execution.

Carl Caulfield, who directs, with the assistance of Michael Ewans, said the play shows the strength of women.

“Hecuba fights back, rather than letting herself be a victim,” he noted.

He also points to the play having some very dark comedy, with people using spin to try to justify their actions.

The other characters include Hecuba’s teenage daughter, Xena (played by Siobhan Caulfield), whom she is determined to save from execution, Agamemnon (Tim Blundell), the drug-dependent Greek commander-in-chief, Mestor (Michael Byrne), the smooth-talking and lying king of Thrace, Neo (Joshua Holloway), a drug-crazed young warlord, Odysseus (Dez Robertson), a hypocritical politician, and with Patrick Campbell, Angela McKeown, Leanne Guihot, Sarah Gordon, Danielle Asquith, Matt Heys, Patrick James, William Parker and Camden Aglio in other roles.

Hecuba Reimagined can be seen at the Civic Playhouse from October 12 to 22, with shows on Wednesday and Friday at 8pm, and Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, plus 2pm matinees on October 19 and 21. Tickets: $20.40 to $40.80. Bookings: 4929 1977.

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