Last Tuesday saw the premiere of the RHS’ first Greek play, ‘Oedipus’. After weeks of practice, the performance proved flawless. Led and directed by none other than our own classics teacher, Mr Johnson, who translated the classic tragedy to a far more modernised text, the performance appealed to both the old and wise, but also to the young and naive.
Doors opened at 7:45pm, welcoming both parents and students, who gathered with baited breath to enjoy the spectacle and support the cast.
To give a vague synopsis, Oedipus, the eponymous character and King of Thebes, at a young age was sentenced to death by his parents, Queen Jocasta and King Laius (after a prophecy foretold that the child would kill his father and marry his mother). Little did the King and Queen know, the Shepard whom their child was given to took pity and gave Oedipus to the rulers of the neighbouring land. Years later, Oedipus travelled to Thebes, and without knowing, fulfilled the prophecy and became the ruler of Thebes. Later on, Oedipus learns about the prophecy and has found out about his true origin.
The main trio of Oli Hurley (Oedipus), Gray Holland (Jocasta) and Sam Christmas (Creon) proved to be a great casting with their impassioned performances. Within minutes, the room was filled with tension of Oedipus and the Priest, with Louis Gibson joining the scene as the blinded man, Tiresias, foretelling Oedipus that the one who murdered Laius will meet a horrid end. More mystery was created by Louis’ character’s almost omniscient characterisation before the entrance of Gray and Sam. Gray gave a brilliant performance of Queen Jocasta along with the amazing duologues between Sam and Oli, each divulging the audience deeper into the character’s motivations and mindsets.
As usual, Oli has not failed to impress us with his powerful performance of the title role, however the other members of the cast must be commended. Lily Mason, the servant controlled the tonal shift of the play excellently, and Xanthe Jones performed utterly convincingly, drawing the audience further into the world of the play. Jennie Russell and Rowley Kerr also gave inspired performances in their parts as the messengers, delivering the news to the citizens of Thebes and engaging the audience.
Many thanks and congratulations must go to our Classical Civilisation teacher, Mr Johnson, who has put together this play, and to the cast whose passion for the production was evident throughout. If you have not yet gone, I’d highly recommend you to take the last chance to see the play. The final performance of Oedipus will be on 7pm this Thursday 8th February at the drama studio.