The Abbey Theatre Youth Group presented their interpretation of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ to audiences this week.
Their production of D.M. Larson’s ‘The Hysterical History of the Trojan War’ certainly got the ‘hysterical’ part right, even if it might have been a little light on the ‘historical’!
The young cast made good use of audience participation and various characters induced us to sway like waves, shout ‘Go Troy’ or do our best King Leonidas impressions screaming ‘This is Sparta!’
The story is well-known, boy meets girl, boy absconds with girl to Troy, girl turns out to be the wife of the Spartan king, the gods get involved and a decade of war ensues.
Throughout the acting was superb and the modern flavour and humour was well suited and never forced.
Hannah Graham, playing Cassandra the psychic whom none believe, was a hoot. Her cry of “We’re doomed!” reminded me of Private Fraser in Dad’s Army.
Georgia Ritchie and Josey Sherrin, were brilliant as the wise-cracking runaways Helen and Paris.
Cameron Cousins gave the god Zeus an entertaining yuppie twist, Hayley Morris’ Athena was convincingly bloodthirsty and Emily Barnes’ Apollo was wonderfully conniving. Zoe Killoh as Poseidon did well to kick off the audience participation and knows how to work a crowd and although Megan Hadden’s Hera only briefly appeared she was memorably fierce.
All the heroes were there, Eithan Paxton’s scheming Odysseus had a good comedy turn as he stole inside Troy inside the Trojan Donkey. Siobhan Dear’s Hector had the most amusingly drawn out death scene ever, which contrasted brilliantly with unkillable Achilles’ (Tom Christison) rather sudden demise.
Agamemnon (Claire Maud) did a lovely line in Star Wars quotes and Menelaus (Emma Maud) and Ajax (Roxy Ellis) played suitably enraged Greeks. Jamie Smith had some quick fire comedy as the guard who confronts Odysseus and poor Patroclus (Nathan Dear) might only have had one line, but it was a classic.
Special mention must go to Homer (Robbie Howie) and the Homerettes who filled in the background with some cleverly worded song covers.
The stage crew should be proud of their efforts and the costumes were all top notch.
The club should be proud of their young actors who have turned out yet another great show, and unlike Cassandra, I hope you will believe me when I predict they will have a bright future.