Monday, February 20, 2012

Theatre: Persians

by Aeschylus, translated by Aaron Poochigian
Happy Dagger and Little y theatre companies
Directed by Andrew Hale
Performed by Christie Sistrunk, Austin Castiglione, Maitland Schnaars, Leon Osborn, Helen Angell, Lynsey Trench, Megan Moir, Ellen O’Connor and Laura Hopwood
Designed by Sarah Affleck
Lighting designed by Joe Lui
Music by Adam Burges, performed by The Men from Another Place
15 - 19 February, 2012

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of The Persians, the tragedy of the rout of the navy and army of Xerxes the Great by the Greeks at Salamis. The oldest surviving play, it gives us the first insight into the consciousness of mankind as expressed by theatre. Told by an exact contemporary (Aeschylus fought at both Salamis and, some years earlier, the epochal battle of Marathon) it is also the first surviving example of drama’s unique ability to frame events and personalities. It may also be the first surviving example of propaganda.
There’s no denying, too, that as the eyes of the world turn anxiously to the most recent inheritors of Xerxes’ domain – and, ironically and for different reasons, to his Greek enemies – the chroniclers and dramatisers of ancient empires and the conduct of their affairs hold a distant mirror to us and our times.
Persians, a new translation by the American scholar and poet Aaron Poochigian, does a fine job maintaining the gravitas of Greek tragedy with just enough contemporary rhythm and idiom to allow the ancient work to work for a modern audience.

Link here  to the complete review in The West Australian 

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