The Flea mounts Ellen McLaughlin’s Bosnian War-inspired adaptation of Euripides' classic starring its resident acting company, the Bats. More…
The women of Troy have been sold into slavery. Their husbands are dead, their city destroyed, and it seems as though the gods have forgotten them. As they wait to be taken away, the women grapple with grief, fear and the gravity of total loss. 'The Trojan Women' is the first anti-war play in the Western canon, written to make Greece consider the consequences of perpetual warfare. This production makes abundant use of music, movement, and ritual to explore how living in wartime impacts every member of a community.
"The pained clarity and blunt poetry of McLaughlin’s text retain some power even when delivered in a horse of wooden acting. With few exceptions—such as Wortmann as Andromache—the young actors of the Bats, under Haney’s earnest direction, lack the gravitas to pull off this material, and the intimacy of the Flea’s tiny basement theater is unmerciful. They give it the old college try, but the result, alas, too often evokes college theater." Full Review
"Haney struggles to bring the Trojans' story to life. Performers deliver choral text in tones that suggest self-consciousness about classical poetry, rather than moment-by-moment emotion. There are wistfully harmonious songs, and swoopy ensemble choreography...but both elements are overly recognizable, and the staging feels too familiar to shock us into connecting with the Trojans' plight...Occasionally, the young performers from the Bats find ways to ignite feeling." Full Review
"This 'Trojan Women' tends to be overwhelmed by these intrinsic difficulties of Euripides's text, exclaiming emotion more often than truly demonstrating it…When it's all said and done, you can't help but marvel at the tremendously tragic tale, but ‘The Trojan Women’ hasn't crossed the crucial line between jolting and heartbreaking…The end result isn't distasteful, but there's the disappointment of a missed opportunity. You want to feel devastated, but what you get hews closer to numbness." Full Review
"Though lovely, McLaughlin’s rich imagery becomes at times repetitive…The chorus’s constant repetition of each others’ words, grounded in distressing physical movement, diminish the emotional impact of the piece through sometimes overly frantic performances…The play at times becomes too oratory, as the increasing loudness feels jarring in the small space. However, this makes the moments of silence stand out, lending a meaningful juxtaposition to the play’s quieter monologues." Full Review
"The current production makes the play, that is a cascade of dramatically intense situations, action and ideas, seem static. The directing depends on outdated ideas of what Greek tragedy should look and sound like…The set and costuming are burdened by the same unimaginative vision. The Bats are, like the rest of the production, burdened by the obvious. These actors speak, however, with clarity and projection, and if you go, you will hear every word–and that’s worth plenty!" Full Review
See it if you like supporting young artists, or like to see adaptations of greek tragedy/like greek tragedy.
Don't see it if you can't sit through overly poetic language, very cliched college theatre-esque performances and directorial choices.
See it if you like classical theatre, and Greek mythology. You like to support young artists, like plays about women. Like poetry.
Don't see it if you prefer major productions, creative costume design, or colorful theatre display. If you don't care for greek mythology.
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies