The Big Hall in Maynooth – Aula Maxima – was packed with people. The Drama Society was showing a play titled: “Orestes 2.0” directed by Leanne Geaney.
Once you were allowed through the doors, you felt like a trespasser of the play – the characters were already on the stage or in front of it. The audience might had felt like it interrupted the play in the middle of the act. Perhaps, this was reflecting the slight chaos of this version of the Greek tragicomedy. To the outsider, it felt like the whole paly was the perfect comical chaos. However, it was obvious that the scenes were cohesively woven together, allowing for the harmonic consistent flow to the play.
The play was a modernised version of the classical Greek play “Orestes”. Regardless, the key Greek elements of the original version of play were critically conserved.
Awareness was roused in the audience as focus was given to the central characters of the play such as Orestes and Electra as they marvellously interacted with each other and the other Greek members of their Greek family. However, the important question: ‘who are the ones sitting and shouting at the front of the stage?’ Were they the mad people of Greece, locked up in the asylum watching the play of Orestes on the television screen? Or where they someone else, as throughout the play, the so-called mad made interruptions with the Greek family. What was being conveyed? That the television creeps into you? That we don’t know what is real as fictitious characters can be a part of our own real and private lives.
It was later delivered that the mad were indeed mad but not as neurotic as we had thought. They were the survivors of the War of Troy. In fact, they were chilling’ in Orestes garden, spectating! But not spectating fiction but their own reality. Talk about an edgy and mind boggling play!
The play was delivered by a cast that was acutely aware of it’s abilities and capabilities. For the majority, the lines were clearly delivered subsided with delightfully dramatic actions.
However, it was difficult to hear some of the actors pronounce their lines as each part of play was of a high intellectual concentration. Hence, some parts of the plot were at a risk of being pitifully misunderstood.
All in all, the play was a success. Everyone put out their best performance.
“Orestes 2.0” is a complex play. It analyses the deep relationships that exist between siblings; the political power the elder have on the younger; the human hunger for power and justice; and what destruction of the station of that hunger brings to the human kind.
And when the lines were pronounced with audacity and accuracy, a complete dramatic experience was provided.