A consummate display of the design and technical staging available at the Lyttelton, National Theatre, London. I loved the opening with the family banter and the emergence of Phaedra, played by Janet McTeer as the strong politician and matriarch. The intelligent wit of the father/supporting husband was wonderfully acted by Paul Chahidi, as were the bright but troubled children by Rhys Bailey and Mackenzie Davis.
The voices were fantastic even though the mikes gave them overload and strangely inhibited the variation in showing sensitivity through the voice. This is in line with how the Greeks originally would have delivered dialogue through masks. The staging inside a glass box/arena gave us the outside view.
It’s not surprising therefore that when the protagonist, Sofiane played by Asssad Bouab, arrives on stage, he doesn’t appear to have the presence that Phaedra responds to in such an overwhelmed way. However, this does not seem to matter as we are outside and not part of the story – just witness to it and Phaedra’s inevitable fall. I was gripped throughout and loved the use of languages with the digital translation. Amazing acting and wonderful dialect voice work by Daniele Lydon.