Electra at the Old Vic

Electra performed at the Old Vic in London. Golda Rosheuvel, Jack Lowden as Orestes, Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra, Julia Dearden and Thalissa Telxeira
Photo courtesy of the Telegraph


My fascination with Greek mythology and culture began way back as a little girl in Primary School. I was whisked away to a world of gods and mythical creatures whose powers ruled the life of a mortal. As I grew older and began to read the works of Sophocles and Euripedes I discovered a whole new depth and meaning to these stories which was at times shocking, passionate and challenging.

Electra is the classic Greek heroine: brave, strong yet tortured. The play focuses on the tragic loss of her beloved Father Agamemnon, murdered by her own Mother Clytemnestra with the help of her lover. Electra cannot forgive or forget this most horrific crime that has torn her life apart, left two members of her family dead, one lost and the others seems set to send her away too.

Kristin Scott Thomas is perfect casting for Electra, skeletal with haunting eyes. She prowls across the stage giving a mesmerising performance. Her usual casting of distant and contained ladies goes out of the window here, she thrashes around the space in torment. She was every bit as powerful as I was anticipating, aided by a strong ensemble surrounding her central character.

The theme of revenge provides the backbone to the play, bought about by war and death. Electra cannot bring herself to accept her Mother's explanation for killing her Father, despite her sister's pleas. Her life depends on her reversing her bitterness to accept the situation which cannot be changed, Jung went as far to say that Electra's love for her Father was not that of daughter but of a lover. Her fervent passion for justice, a sort of self punishment renders her into little more than a desperate woman in rags, who cares little for her own life.

Electra is a beautiful looking show which has transformed the Old Vic into an in the round space, it looks magnificent. The towering set that dominated the tiny Electra forcing her further into her madness and rage, perfectly encapsulates this blood thirsty world. A wonderful production, beautifully directed by the uber talented Ian Rickson who set the Royal Court alight, brings his magic to South of the river. Go see it for the tour de force performance by the electrifying Scott Thomas who not only finds the drama but the humour in this heroine's tragedy.

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