City Lit Blog

Welcome to Thebes

Story added 30th Apr 2018

 

 

Welcome To Thebes by Moira Buffini

Performed by students on the Access to HE Diploma in Drama in the John Lyon Theatre, City Lit, 1-10 Keeley Street, WC2B 4BA

Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May at 19:30
Saturday 26 May at 14:30 and 19:30


Tickets £8-£12 - includes a drink - bookings >>

In the twenty-first century, an imagined country emerges from brutal conflict. Democratic elections are held for the first time and a woman is elected president. Now the people must rebuild their lives, and she must rebuild the nation. 

Welcome To Thebes explores the possibilities and difficulties of peace and change in a traumatised city where the threat of violence is ever-present. Politics of state and gender intertwine when the male leader of a neighbouring country visits to discuss financing desperately needed aid.

Playwright Moira Buffini has populated her modern Thebes with characters from Greek legend; Eurydice is president; Athenian leader Theseus demands the internet and a mobile phone to call his wife Phaedra; Ismene tells Antigone she wants to forget Oedipus and "wear jeans and smoke"; Tiresias the prophet is mocked as a "beggarly transgender type". Buffini re-imagines these myths with extraordinary skill, deftly weaving their stories together so that the ancient stories feel fresh and newly resonant. She wrote in her programme note to the original production, "The very point of myths is that they are immutable, but politics are all about transforming things. In plays, we can explore possibilities. How can the unchangeable begin to change?"

First performed at the National Theatre in 2010, the play touches on many issues seen daily in today's news: the problems of democracy, the legacy of brutal civil war, the challenges faced by women in positions of power, and the extreme difficulty of doing the right thing in near-impossible circumstances.

In her book 100 Great Plays for Women Lucy Kerbel describes Welcome To Thebes as "ambitious, urgent, and arguably one of the most important political plays of recent years", reminding us also that "in Buffini's characteristic style, the play is rich in wit, irony and subtly subversive humour".

Muscular, passionate and arresting, this play is also heartbreaking, funny, and beautiful. Thebes isn't an easy place to live...Welcome!

 

Cast

Natalie Cameron Ward - Eris

Dean Cartwright- Phaeax / Polykleitos

Roxanne Cavanagh - Megaera

Aiden Champion - Tydeus

Barbara Ferrara - Ismene

Ellie Hart - Thalia

Crispin Heaton - Tiresias

Marley Irons - Miletus

Jackie Jamieson- Bia / Plautus

Michael Jennett - Enyalius / Xenophanes

Beatriz Lopez - Scud / Harmonia

Ayla Ozcurumez - Helia

Sandrine Pittaway - Aglaea

Nicole Potter - Euphrosyne

Jacqueline Quinn - Eurydice  

Christian Rudolf- Haemon

Adam Sumner - Theseus

Jo Sutherland - Talthybia

Ainara Urrutikoetxea - Pargeia

Christin Vidgren- Antigone