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Messenger #1, A New Ancient Greek Tragedy

Members say: Ambitious, Clever, Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking
80
Critics
89
5 reviews
Members
77
24 reviews
 

Hunger & Thirst Theatre presents a new ancient Greek tragedy, which transforms Aeschylus' 'Oresteia' trilogy into an athletic and lean 90 minutes.

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Before the Internet, before newspapers, before carrier pigeons, there were the messengers. 'Messenger #1' centers around the three messengers who serve theater's first dysfunctional royal family. As Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, and Orestes' heinous actions cause the world to spiral out of control, our messengers’ clear, passionate voices are the country’s only source of information—​a powerful, and potentially dangerous, position to hold.

 


Cast & Creatives (13)


Reviews (29)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
89
Avg Score

85
The Huffington Post

“An innovative dark comedy/drama…’Messenger #1’ has a lot of themes which are still relevant in 2017…Whether the youthful cast engages in simmer-and-seethe expressions of passion, or over-the-top, grand movements, the acting is excellent. The script mixes the indulgently quaint style of ancient Greek translation with some equally indulgent anachronisms…The conclusion of 'Messenger #1' is heavy... but in keeping with the play’s political themes, it’s tragically realistic." Full Review

95
TheaterScene.net

"As presented by Hunger & Thirst Theatre, Mark Jackson's 'Messenger #1' is a modern adaptation of the Greek trilogy by Aeschylus which reinvents the tale for contemporary audiences. With a cast of six superb actors, Hondo Weiss-Richmond's brisk and lucid production is both gripping and provocative and makes these old myths seem new again." Full Review

90
Front Row Center

“A terrific production…The ensemble acting is so fine that our sympathy lies with them, all fully developed, all compelling…The direction by Hondo Weiss-Richmond is clean, clear and imaginative...Mr. Jackson’s dialogue is a careful and clever mix of what falls on the ear as classical...Nothing said is out of place; we are drawn into this new drama which has strong classical chops…There’s much here to consider in this intellectually and physically muscular production.” Full Review

95
Theatre is Easy

"Truly a most original and ingenious take on 'Oresteia'…’Messenger #1’ is without a doubt a massive accomplishment. It keeps the essence of the classic Greek plays while making them easy to digest for a 21st-century audience, and it tells a timeless, recognizable tale from a refreshing and topical point of view. It is a truly empowering piece of art—because it tells the truth, and it shows a way to make a difference." Full Review

80
CHARGED.fm

"It begins with Jackson's inspired prose, an effortless fusion of ancient Greek poetic oratory and modern slang...It is the empathetic performance of the three messengers, caught in a whirlwind of tragedy not of their own making, that grounds us in this ancient story of love and loss...Director Hondo Weiss-Richmond's staging makes great use of the small performing space...This is a play that is unafraid to be theatrical, though some elements are more successful than others." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
77
Avg Score

77
Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You know the Orestia and want to see a well written, well acted adaptation from the perspective of previously minor characters.

Don't see it if You are not familiar with the orestia

86
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You are interested in a Greek tragedy told with a lot of fun by an ensemble that works well together. Special note to the Furies.

Don't see it if You are claustrophobic or don't want to sit in the front row.

81
Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Heavy-handed, Unpolished

See it if you like Greek drama, don't mind a mix of modern and classical vernacular, & want a treatment of contemporary issues in a historical setting

Don't see it if you expect high production values, a polished and professional presentation, or subtle, nuanced acting. The quality of acting was varied.

49
Ambitious, Slow

See it if You enjoy reimaginations of Greek classics.

Don't see it if You avoid plays that are interesting academic exercises but are not compelling when staged.

78
Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying

See it if You like greek tragedies, running all around the stage and theater

Don't see it if You don't like small, intimate productions.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You want to watch the reworking of a Greek tragedy. The show successfully grasps the meaning of ancient tragedy. Solid acting.

Don't see it if You want to see a big production, this one is really small. The beginning is also a little tedious, but overall I enjoyed it.

65
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining, Clever at times

See it if You want a modern interpretation of classic Greek plays. You want to support a young theatre company.

Don't see it if You want consistent writing & performance; when it works, it's enjoyable to watch & when it doesn't it's awkward & slow.

75
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Relevant

See it if You want to see a new take on an old story. A well thought out idea, good actors, interesting use of space, and relevant.

Don't see it if You can't abide small spaces with actors a little on top of you. A little over the top at times, with a couple eye roll moments.

68
Ambitious, cleverly written, but imperfectly executed

See it if well-written, contemporary language approach to an ancient Greek tragedy by turns funny, poignant, staging fun, some of cast very winning.

Don't see it if You only like classically performed classics.. You require more than 6 actors in a black box theater which is exactly that.

Also I vacilate about this score. I think about it two weeks after I saw it... Read more Read less

95
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you're familiar with Oresteia and want to see an excellent interpretation that both stays true to the original and provides a fresh viewpoin

Don't see it if Some prior familiarity with the story might be useful though by no means necessary.

Also This worked quite phenomenally for me. Mark Jackson's script and the s... Read more Read less

88
Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if You think ancient Greek dramas can be brought to life in mixed vernacular, and are unafraid to scrutinize given history from another's view

Don't see it if You have no tolerance for a bit of histrionic over-the-topness in your Greek tragedies.

68
Creative adaptation of classic greek tragedy

See it if you'd like to take adolescents to introduce to Greek tragedy. This adaptation of Aeschylus stays faithful to the story - with an added twist

Don't see it if You are looking for a cathartic experience and dont like to see classic epics adapted to small stages, or bored with a familiar story retold

Also The House of Atreus as seen through the eyes of the Messengers, a mode... Read more Read less

81
Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining, Engaging, Committed acting

See it if U like intimate settings & watchg good actors up close. The writing brings some modern slang to classical language-basically for a laugh.

Don't see it if U want a spectacle. This is bare-bones but inventive. U don't like being touched. There is some actor-audience contact. U hate Greek tragedy

80
Clever, Dizzying, Relevant, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy modern adaptaions. You enjoy timeless themes of tyranny. You like stylized and fast paced theater.

Don't see it if You prefer realism. You don't enjoy greek mythology.

95
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you want to watch a modern spin on an ancient tragedy with great moement and stellar acting.

Don't see it if you dislike modern shows. It is very much not a traditional show with few 'old' traditional theatre peeping through.

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You have a love for classic theater with modern twists. Love Greek tales. Enjoy shows with political undertones. Blackbox productions.

Don't see it if Have trouble getting used to different ways of speaking. Don't like shows where actors play multiple parts. Politically charged shows.

90
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if Like a contemporary, fast-paced telling of classic stories

Don't see it if You're looking for fancy staging or set

70
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Uneven, Dynamic

See it if you like physical, intimate productions (tiny black box, near-interactive action), modern takes on classical forms, young theater companies

Don't see it if you don't like small budget shows, tragedies with some comic highlights, somewhat contemporary topics (though underdeveloped)

Also for a show presumably focusing on the messengers, there is far too muc... Read more Read less

71
Ambitious, Dizzying, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like fast paced, very intense theater. The show was a stylized mix of Greek tragedy and current language. Thought provoking.

Don't see it if You like theater to move you emotionally more than provoke you intellectually.

81
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You like theater that explores big ideas like justice, liberty and obedience.

Don't see it if You want light entertainment... or have claustrophobia.

75
Funny, Clever, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You like refreshing new twists on classic plays. (A bit unpolished but a good show.)

Don't see it if You want a ritzy, lights and singing show.

100
Great acting, Must see, Great writing

See it if If you have always wanted to see Greek tragedy performed in a contemporary and compelling way. So many brilliant lessons!

Don't see it if If you do not want to be entertained and enriched.

90
Great acting, Relevant

See it if you like engaging, thought provoking theater with a cast of talented actors. It's also a new take on Greek tragedy.

Don't see it if you don't like experimental, low budget, off-off broadway in a small theater.

58
During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Banal, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You have nothing better to do with your time and really adore Greek tragedy. Also if you're able to accept poor direction and staging.

Don't see it if You have no patience for a story that takes forever to convey and if you don't like the actors practically on top of you.