Abu Dhabi theatre group Resuscitation Theatre kept up the tradition of creative adaptation in the city's theatre scene, bringing Euripides' classic Greek tragedy The Trojan Women to the National Theatre stage as Trojan Women: A Very Moving Tale.
The play, which ran for about an hour, started off with a very action-filled and dynamic opening segment depicting the sack of Troy, followed by scenes in which the Trojan women lament and negotiate their fate as the Achaeans pick them off one by one, for slavery or death. The script was transposed into modern times, with the Achaeans wearing Western boot camp military uniforms and dog tags, and the Trojan women wearing paint-splattered, torn clothes. Props, however, still connected with the epic era.
Trojan Women included a significant amount of excellent physical theatre and dance -- par for the course in a Resuscitation Theatre play, but featuring choreographic collaboration with Dubai-based experimental theatre group Loom Ensemble this time around. There were a few singing segments, which I thought were handled very well too. Background music, however, made it difficult to hear some actors' lines from a distance if one was seated closer to a speaker; perhaps more projection was required if an actor is at stage extremes when background music is playing.
It was a job well done by all cast members with the singing and dancing; it can't have been easy to get what must have been varying amounts of experience to the level where everyone can hold their own in a synchronized dance and harmonized song. Acting-wise, I liked Felicia Corral's physical and fiercely expressive Cassandra, as well as Samah Konia's performance as a weary and pragmatic Hecuba. Aditya Vikram Jha did well as Talthybius, and Daughters of Troy, Safia and Sarah Al Mansouri, were impressive for child actors.