In a house of glass, one must not throw stones. After years of fierce focus on her political career, a politician turns her attention to her personal life. The reappearance of a figure from her past shakes the foundations of her house and the beliefs that have underpinned her power. As buried lust and loneliness surge to the surface, her actions threaten to destroy everything she has built.
Writer-Director Simon Stone (Yerma, Young Vic) reimagines the famous Greek tragedy in this new play. The story is more or less known and it is based on the ancient Greek tragedy of a woman’s illegitimate lust for her stepson. This desire of the woman in her menopause is followed by false accusations and claims when she feels rejected and realises that her stepson is having an affair with her daughter. The story is modernised and enriched with elements of our times, which makes it contemporary and kind of easy to watch.
The cast includes Janet McTeer (Ozark, The Menu) and Assaad Bouab (Call My Agent, Bad Sisters) in his London stage debut. The play could not be the same without these stars as each one is bringing so much to the play. However, the confusing thing is that we never understood if the play was more of a comedy or more of drama. We could maybe call it a melodrama, but still we are not sure.
Even if we had our reservations at certain moments regarding the chemistry of the actors, we have to admit that the last scene was greatly touching and strong. What impressed us even more was the fact that the main actor had not recovered from the emotions of the last scene at the end of the show and had to bow while her face was covered in tears. It surely impacted us and we cannot forget this powerful moment!
Verdict? Not sure if this version of Phaedra was so much worth the wait, but it surely one of the plays we will not forget easily! Probably none of the people who attended the sold-out premier.
Phaedra at the National Theatre until 8 April