Considering the breadth of the play there was plenty of room for some adventurous directing and staging choices, but those choices weren’t made.
“By dread things I am compelled. I know it. I feel it. I sense the trap closing and I see what I am."
Years after the Trojan War and Agamemnon's assassination, Agamemnon’s youngest child Electra has called on her brother to swear revenge for her father. Electra, obsessed with revenge for her father’s death, hates intensely and grieves with single-mindedness. That hatred drives the play from beginning to end. Electra/Haimara is ambitious and the minimalist stage setting combined with minimal movement had a claustrophobic effect, considering the vigour and scope of the tale. The entire cast gave performances that were high energy but remained on that one plane throughout the entire piece, leaving little room for nuance.
Considering the breadth of the play there was plenty of room for some adventurous directing and staging choices, but those choices weren’t made. The acting and staging remained functional throughout, but the piece lacked subtext. The production conjures a tale full of hardships that deserve to be explored to their full potential.
Greek mythology enthusiasts will be pleased with the story, and the writing is eloquent and serves the premise well. Irisa Kwok does an excellent job of deconstructing the ancient parable to portray a never-ending cycle of generational trauma that you can see lasting well beyond the play. Victoria Ubenyi is a powerful stage presence as Clytemnestra, as is Irisa Kwok as Electra, but both performances deserved to be investigated beyond rage and fury. Eliza Harrison, Emma Lewis, Emily Sparkes, Sam Benatar and Hugo Gregg all complement the piece with solid performances; but again there were many missed performance-wise opportunities. The story and writing are interesting, but as a production, Electra/Haimara has a lot of room for growth.
Photo credit to Paul Ashley