MA THEATRE LAB IN ANCIENT MESSENE
On 22 April the MA Theatre Lab students presented their own adaptation of The Eumenides by Aeschylus at the fourth International Student Festival of Ancient Drama in Ancient Messene. Translated by Tony Harrison, this is the final play of The Oresteia Trilogy and dramatizes the birth of Athenian democracy.
This year was the Theatre Lab’s third consecutive visit to the Festival at the invitation of the Mayor of Messene.
The production, directed by recent alumna Cara Nolan, had its premiere at the opening of the Festival to an audience nestled among the mountains of the Peloponnese in an amphi-theatre that is 2,500 years old.
These last few weeks of the Lab-life have been extremely eventful. We spent all of the Easter holidays rehearsing for our performance of The Eumenides, a devised version of Aeschylus’s play, which we performed in Greece two weeks ago.
Our trip to Greece was truly a life-changing experience for all of us in the company. We not only got the honour of visiting this incredibly beautiful country with all its astonishing nature and beauty while being hosted (and well fed!) by an amazingly generous group of people, but we also had the unique experience of performing a Greek play in the 2500 year old Amphi-theatre of Ancient Messene in the Peloponnese.
Standing on that marble in the sunshine, surrounded by people, flowers and ancient ruins, looking up to a wide range of mountains covered with purple flowers is something I will never ever forget. I could talk about this trip forever to try and explain just how extraordinary and epic (yes, that is the word I am choosing to use) it was, but it truly was an experience that neither words nor photographs can ever do justice to.
Now, two weeks later, after finally having gotten the sand out of my shoes and with our tans slowly fading away in rainy London, we have arrived at the third week of our third term working on practitioners Grotowski, and Meyerhold, with Shakespeare’s text thrown in. Oh my, time flies when one is having fun! MA life at RADA is very demanding and sometimes straining, but always rewarding.
Text by Audur Snorradottir, originally published on RADA Blogs, 11 May 2015