Friday, October 12, 2007

Mourning becomes her

Last night I saw the National Theatre of Greece production of Sophocles' Electra. It fell somewhat short of what one imagines such experiences might be--and yet it was still very much worth seeing. The really lovely aspect of the production is the chorus. Everything about the conception and execution of the chorus works incredibly well--fifteen or so women in white, moving and singing and speaking in shiver-inducing ways that really make you feel yourself to be in the presence of the uncanny. Quite lovely (the music was very good also).

The actress playing Electra wasn't terrible, but unfortunately adhered to the moaning-madwoman school of acting (I wish people wouldn't play Ophelia like this either, it is so ludicrous!). And the production itself had some obvious problems--not least that the front rim of the circular stage was not visible from much of the theatre, in ways that the blocking rendered annoyingly present. However, all round, very interesting and stimulating. I am reminded that one of my most obsessive childhood impulses (because I had a passion for everything to do with ancient Greece, fostered by the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, studying it in fourth grade and a devotion for the novels of Mary Renault) was to learn Greek and go to Greece--I have never learned ancient Greek, this is a pity (but if I am very bored in some conjectural period of long-future retirement that is what I am going to learn), but I do think it would be a good idea to go and see some of those places in Greece--Mycenae, and the spots for the battles Thucydides writes about, and the places Odysseus visits in the Odyssey. Like really I would/should go on one of those cruises that follows the path of the Odyssey, even though I am not the cruise-going type... (I am not really qualified to be the lecturer on a cruise like that--the other trip of that sort I'd love to do would be in the Baltic...)

1 comment:

  1. maybe you can still be the lecturer for the odysseus cruise... by doing the same tour but through the lens of cavafy (in 'ithaca'). i'd SO pay to go on that cruise.