Photos Reviews

Oedipus Rex

May 2008

by Sophocles, directed by Ian Potts


Oedipus, King of Thebes - Alan Caig

A Priest of Zeus - David Batty

Creon, Brother of Jocasta - Bill Pattinson

A Chorus of Theban Citizens - Maggie Butt, Chris Eilbeck, Angela Wallwork & Tim Warre

Tiresias, a blind prophet - Mick Munns

Jocasta, the Queen and wife of Oedipus - Avril Pattinson

Corinthian Messenger - Howard Eilbeck

A Shepherd - Eric Hume

Palace Messenger - Tim Warre

Production Team:

Director - Ian Potts

Production Manager - Margaret Butt

Stage Manager - Tina Sinclair

Set Design - Philip Keen

Lighting - Peter Tapp

Costumes - Isla Morgan

Masks - Angela Wallwork

Props - Rosie Munns

Prompt - Janine Warre

Publicity - Margaret Butt & Angela Wallwork

Posters - Phil Keen

Programme - Isla Morgan

Front of House - Sharon Wannell


From Estuary News (Preview):

...Oedipus' fate seems terrible, but the message appears to be that life is like this...

Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex is one of the great plays of the dramatic canon and was considered the perfect example of tragedy by Aristotle. George Steiner in his book, The Death of Tragedy argues that where social intervention might change the outcome of a character's tragic circumstances, tragedy as a form cannot exist. This would deny its existence in the modern era. Whether or not you agree with Steiner's thesis, there is a sense of inevitability about a Greek protagonist's fate, where the Gods seem implacable and where there seems no point in appealing to notions of fairness. Oedipus' fate seems terrible, but the message appears to be that life is like this and no amount of complaining is going to change it.

Like most classical tragic heroes, Oedipus falls from the pinnacle of greatness when he discovers that he has killed his father and married his mother. It is he who drives himself on to discover the terrible truth that leads to his downfall. The final words of the Chorus voice the somewhat bleak Greek philosophical view that no one can be happy until they're dead,

Who could behold his greatness without envy?
Now what a black sea of terror has overwhelmed him.
Now as we keep our watch and wait the final day,
Count no man happy, till he dies, free of pain at last.

A view alien to our modern progressivism, but one which resonates with the universal truths of human existence.

The Estuary Players will be using mask, music, stylised choral movement as well as projection in performance to deliver an emotional roller coaster of a play which has all the tension and shocks of a modern thriller to engage its audience. Rarely performed, it should not be missed!

- Reviewed by: Ian Potts, Director


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