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Women Of Troy


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#1 Backdrifter

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 02:07 PM

When this was discussed in a KM thread a few months ago (the one where people were speculating whether there'd be ballgowns, handbags, lines of chairs, etc) I expressed doubts but now I will definitely book up for this.

It's been an interesting KM year for me. I loathed Attempts, loved The Jewish Wife. So I'm hoping Troy will make it a 2-1 win for the good stuff.

Bound to be a few others here booking for it? (Plus, no doubt, a few giving it a wide berth).
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#2 Boob

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 02:16 PM

There's been no video designer attributed to this production, which made me breathe a sigh of relief (not that I'm opposed to the use of video - just don't like KM's way with it)...  I'd love to see a production of hers on a par with the excellent Iphigenia at Aulis, Three Sisters and Ivanov.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 02:23 PM

I really didn't like Iphigenia - I found it greatly overacted. Loved her Three Sisters though. Did anyone seen her Vanya with Stephen Dillane?

#4 Lynette

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 03:38 PM

Alexandra, I just can't let that 'overacting' comment pass. Trust me I tried. It was an amazing production, breath-taking. It had me leaning forward for most of it and left me with palpitations at the end. Gripping. How can you 'overact' a guy about to murder his daughter for the sake of honour and an army? Heightened drama at its best. If Troy is half as good it will be tremendous. Cant wait. Saw a not so good one at The Pit was it ? - someone will correct me- a while back.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 03:57 PM

laugh.gif The "guy" and his daughter were OK (she was much better than she was in The Seagull anyway) but those bloody stereotypical women drove me insane - hilarious for the men in the audience no doubt, especially the kind of men who think we need help to find the toilets in theatres - but women don't actually behave like that. They reminded me of teenage girls playing middle-aged women in a school play. Admittedly I got a bit obsessed with hating them and that spoiled the rest for me.

#6 Boob

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 04:08 PM

Alexandra, do you not think the behaviour of the chorus, if a bit stereotypical and occasionally frustrating, was in fitting with the period in which the production was set?  It seemed to me that it also brilliantly re-contexualised a chorus (of women) at a loss with themselves and the war-struck male-dominated world around them.  I'm with Lynette on this one - I left the Lyttelton breathless, amazed and moved.  I will concede, however, that if the chorus really bugged you, it could have weighed down Iph... for the spectator.

#7 josh

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 11:18 PM

I'm very excited about this and I won't apologise to anyone for that. biggrin.gif

And I too was glad to see no 'video designer' because Attempts on Her Life was a massive step back for KM, imo, though I liked Waves quite a lot...
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#8 Alexandra

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 06:44 AM

I don't, Boob, sorry, no, I don't think women of that period behaved like that any more than we do. I can't remember now exactly when it was set - 40, 50s? - but for a much better study of women trapped in a male world around that time, see the film Far From Heaven. The chorus represents us. Those caracatures didn't, and therefore it lost me.

Josh, why would you even think of apologising?!

#9 Jan Brock

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:00 AM

QUOTE(Alexandra @ Sep 6 2007, 03:23 PM) View Post
I really didn't like Iphigenia - I found it greatly overacted. Loved her Three Sisters though. Did anyone seen her Vanya with Stephen Dillane?


Yes. I saw it. It was excellent.

#10 Theatresquirrel

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 01:52 PM

If there’s a discussion about Katie Mitchell, I’m there!

Alexandra, I’m sorry, I feel you’ve missed the point a little bit. I truly don’t think Mitchell was using Euripides’ chorus to make a point about women trapped inside a male world. (I think yes, she conveys that with Clytemnestra and you could surely never think she fudged that; I’ll never forget Katie Duchene standing there speechless and devastated as the wind kicks in.)

But the chorus were principally there to do what a chorus is always there to do: advance the story and reflect on it.  They don’t, as you say, represent us. How do I know this? Well, the traditional Greek chorus wear masks, and we don’t. They also tend to shroud themselves in long robes and move in stylised, sychroncised swooping movements. Which we don’t do much either. So you can’t entirely criticise Mitchell’s chorus for behaving in ways that we don’t. I’ve never seen a chorus in a traditional production or otherwise behave conventionally. It’s fundamentally not their nature to do so.

With Iphigenia, Mitchell just came up with a concept for how the chorus element might possibly dovetail with the era in which her production was set, and I think she did that extremely resonantly, even offering a query – that I’d never personally entertained before - on what a chorus actually is and what it’s doing there in the first place.

And whether you like what she did with them or not, heaven forbid that anyone should deny that breathless starstruck groupies (as she made them) exist. That’s all these were; the 1930s versions thereof. Call it a stereotype, but overly-mannered God-fearing, proprietorial people who travel a long way to see their idols do volubly exist. Did you see some of the footage of people who came to pay homage to Diana last week? Did you hear what they said and see the way they moved? Working close to the Royal Albert Hall, where they hold the Women’s Institute AGM every year, I regularly see 5000 women just like those in Iphigenia come scuttling off their buses, wide-eyed and bumbling into one another at the end of their pilgrimage. Ditto when Cliff Richard tickets go on sale too. They’re doting, ditzy, discombobulated. This isn’t sexist, it’s not a demeaning slant on womanhood; some people are just like that. I think we’re all a bit like that at sometime or another. And in the presence of bionic heroes of a kind we just don’t remotely have in our day (Beckham is nothing on what Achilles was back then), who wouldn’t be? Okay, maybe not you, but I was totally swung by Mitchell’s suggestion that Agamemnon and his comrades were the pin-ups of their day, and the chorus vividly suggested just how they were received.

But I doubt this will change your view, this far down the line.

While we’re talking Troy, I suspect from the blurb that this production is going to be more dystopic / contemporary than Iphigenia; perhaps like the trappings we saw in the Donmar’s Hecuba. Regardless, I can’t wait. If it’s even half as good Iphigenia, for me it’ll be the best thing this year.




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