The Oresteia


Until November 14

OLD Trafford actress Lyndsey Marshal, frightening and vengeful as Clytemnestra is for me, by far the best thing about The Oresteia, HOME's latest production.

The emotion spews out of her like a volcano, her character consumed with hatred for the husband who sacrificed their daughter for the sake of the safe passage of his military fleet.

Marshal can act, and its easy to see why that film offer with Michael Fassbender landed in her lap.

My love affair with the old Library Theatre spanned decades, but when its comes to HOME, we're not even at the holding hands stage. When it comes to this ancient Greek tragedy the emotion is over egged to the point I felt like I was watching a comedy sketch at times which is a pity, as there are moments of genuine spectacle.

HOME's Romeo and Juliet was a stunning success, set in the atmospheric surroundings of Victoria Baths. Unfortunately, that standard is yet to be reproduced in the company's brand spanking new home. No pun intended.

The play is not a complete write off - I liked Simon Trinder's very northern Orestes and the confrontations between him and his murderous mother Clytemnestra are especially captivating.

While we may not live in a utopian society, I rejoice at the fact I never lived in ancient Greece, where human sacrifice seems as much a part of everyday life as nipping to the supermarket is today. Although I bet it was a good deterrent for kids who wouldn't go to bed on time.

While some of the dialogue is rich and evocative in Ted Hughes' translation, I found it impossible to engage with or care about the characters.

For me, the best is yet to come from HOME.

* Until November 14. Star rating - **