Troilus and Cressida

William Shakespeare

Troilus and Cressida

Shakespeare's epic Trojan play about love, war and politics. Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Ravenhill co-direct an Anglo-American company in a groundbreaking, multi-media collaboration between The Wooster Group and the RSC, commissioned for the World Shakespeare Festival. 2.4 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
Troilus and Cressida

Omniscore:

Location Stratford-upon-Avon
Venue The Swan
Director Elizabeth LeCompte & Mark Ravenhill
Cast Joe Dixon, Marin Ireland, Danny Webb, Zubin Varla, Scott Handy Scott Shepherd
From August 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 0844 800 1110
 

Shakespeare's epic Trojan play about love, war and politics. Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Ravenhill co-direct an Anglo-American company in a groundbreaking, multi-media collaboration between The Wooster Group and the RSC, commissioned for the World Shakespeare Festival.

In London 24 August

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Jane Shilling

Among the “problems” of the play is the fact that it offers no heroes, no restoration of order, no comfort. Hector’s chivalry is rewarded with an ignominious end. Cressida is untrue, Troilus betrayed. Love does not triumph, nor does courage. “War and lechery confound all,” as Thersites observes. LeCompte and Ravenhill’s elegantly disturbing production builds a powerful sense of beleaguered humanity, with strong performances from Marin Ireland as a sly Cressida, and Joe Dixon as a pouting Achilles. But the direction becomes mannered as the drama approaches its unresolved crisis; there is a sense of reaching for effect, and an accompanying loss of momentum.

09/08/2012

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The Stage

Heather Neill

The groundwork for this co-production - part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012 - famously involved the experimental Wooster group rehearsing separately from the RSC cast. The American-Trojans did not meet the British-Greeks for some weeks during which the New Yorkers developed aspects of Native American society and the Brits became modern army chaps in faded camouflage. The result is, unfortunately, a mess. The confusion of existence is there all right, but not much which is recognisable as a realistic exploration of human relationships.

09/08/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Kate Bassett

The stylistic dichotomy highlights different strengths and weaknesses. LeCompte's aesthetic is strikingly weird and novel in the Swan. The flat-toned delivery also, arguably, reflects how characters prove insincere or are ultimately denied tragic depth in this problem play. The downside is that LeCompte offers no psychological insights en route. Her staging is technically layered – with the film footage in tandem – but that's often merely distracting. Conversely, Ravenhill is thin on directorial concepts. His team's modern army uniforms don't gel with the Native American set-up, and his programme note about exciting inconsistencies is unpersuasive.

12/08/2012

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The Observer

Susannah Clapp

In the loud jabber of visual and verbal distractions, other Troilus subjects are vanquished: this is the Shakespeare play that above all others meditates on the nature of time. You would not know that here, as things jump up and down in a constant present. Coalitions are often not a good idea.

12/08/2012

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The Daily Express

Neil Norman

Scott – so terrific in the recent Gatz – is ridiculous as Troilus, delivering his lines in the cracked whine of American stand-up Emo.

10/08/2012

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The Financial Times

Alexander Gilmour

The text undermines the ideals of soldiering and courtly love, as does this production. Ajax, the strongest of the Greeks, is presented as a metal-head in a strong-man suit; high romance is reduced to its sexual parts; and pitched battles are fought with sporting paraphernalia – a hurling stick and a cricket bat, among others. The results are cartoon-camp, yet elements are successful: Joe Dixon’s Achilles – “great Thetis’s son” – prances in a white sarong, vain, grasping, cruel, yet also pitiable; Thersites is a festering transvestite masquerading as an amputee; and Helen, the epitome of female beauty, is played by a man in a frizzy auburn wig.

10/08/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

In case we miss the point about Achilles's sexual ambivalence, Joe Dixon turns up for a pre-battle feast in a scarlet evening gown. Zubin Varla also delivers Thersites's running commentary on wars and lechery as a wheelchair-using transvestite. And Danny Webb, having played Agamemnon as a cautious military brolly-clutcher, doubles as Diomedes, whom he inexplicably turns into Crocodile Dundee. Only Scott Handy as a scholarly Ulysses delivers the verse with a kind of witty intelligence that we used to take for granted at the RSC.

09/08/2012

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The Times

Sam Marlowe

Humming with homoeroticism, high camp and high concept, this is an oddball mongrel production, defiantly difficult to like.

10/08/2012

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