Ana Fuerstenberg reviews The Iliad for Rover Arts: “a perfect evening of theatre for a young audience.”
Read on Rover Arts’ website: The Iliad – Epic Acting
Ana Fuerstenberg – April 8, 2014
The set performances and direction of the Iliad are outstanding and should be seen by young people from across this city. The set was remarkable and had the magic and mystery which a play such as this demands.
It was also a thrill to see this cast working together, playing the thousands who made up the warring Greeks and Trojans. Quincy Armorer was great in his various roles and did some very fine physical theatre turns. Daniel Brochu gave a terrific performance and was particularly delightful as the juggler caught between armies.
Susan Glover is always perfection in both her male and female incarnations. Karl Graboshas amazes with his many manifestations and has a particularly fine voice for this kind of epic. Pippa Leslie gave a terrific performance and her physical work was utterly delightful. She has a surprisingly strong voice and did well in all her roles, and she was quite fantastic as Achilles.
The few puppets or rather extra fine masks on sticks were brilliantly designed by Marija Djordjevic. Her costumes also were strategic and well designed. The narrative went very smoothly and the story moved along lickety split. Obviously the director was a very fine director.
The script however lacked meat. There was a lot of spearing and stabbing and dying, and yelling out challenges and all that goes with portraying the mythopoeia of this tale. Obviously this is written for Geordie and has to be sized down for young audiences. The problem is that there was no emotional hook in the entire play; no moment when Hecuba got to grieve, or Andromeda to cry out. The script did not give the personae the dramatic space to breathe in the human costs of war, and this was such an epic war to end all wars. It was the end of an entire civilization.
One recalls the monologue from Brecht where “the dead were speared like tuna fish. The crabs grew fat in the Scamander River, but no one ate them.“ Somehow when human mouths turned into tiger’s jaws, the horror was made present. This play is more like Tin Tin Goes To Ilium. The graphics are perfect but there is no depth of feeling.
Still, a perfect evening of theatre for a young audience.