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Anne Carson's new version of Euripides's

Bakkhai

May 27th - September 23rdTom Patterson TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 8 Critics
  • bottom 28% of shows in the 2017 season
8 Reviews
Comments
This is a listing for the 2017 season. For the current 2018 shows click here.

The Chicago Tribune - Chris Jones

Critiques the very notion of a...

“this production is still unlike anything I’ve seen in a decade of summer Stratford attendance and, in its best moments, critiques the very notion of a classical theater festival operating in an age of such division and uncertainty.”

Read Full Review08/04/2017

The New York Times - Jesse Green

It’s actually devastating

“Larger themes are crowded out by the production’s narrow focus on individual and small group psychopathology. We don’t feel the Euripidean conflict between civilization and hedonism or government and anarchy so much as that between personal repression and liberation.

Still, the cheeky modern approach pays off when Ms. Peacock’s Agave, realizing the horrors she has committed while under Dionysos’s influence, faces a contemporary feminine punishment. Off comes the comfy robe; on go the heels and Spanx. It’s actually devastating.”

Read Full Review08/14/2017

James Wegg Review - James Wegg

New version favours the old

In Anne Carson’s new version of the centuries’ old text (reportedly premièred in 405 BC) is given a fanciful, inventive turn but fell short from the mark of dramatic authenticity that was envisioned by the playwright, lo those many eons ago.

Read Full Review06/18/2017

The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Andrea Simakis

Drawing inspiration from a new text

“Director Jillian Keiley, drawing inspiration from a new version of the play by Anne Carson, seems primarily concerned with women’s bodies. Who controls them? Their mortal husbands? The pissy Dionysus? Or, the women themselves?

The question is provocative, even if some of the staging is not. (Aside from the intimacy choreography, that is.) Long passages of song and dance executed by the chorus – an ensemble of be-robed women who double as the Bakkhai – quickly begin to wear.

Still, there are plenty of reasons to recommend Keiley’s vision. One is the riveting, ethereal Fyfe, who tricks Pentheus into dressing in drag – then pleasures him as though he were one his Bakkhic bitches. Another is a shattering Lucy Peacock as Pentheus’s bedazzled mother, Agave.”

Read Full Review08/29/2017

The Slotkin Letter - Lynn Slotkin

No Emotion

You would think that with all this heightened emotion in the play, the production would have captured it. But alas, no.
It’s directed by Jillian Keiley. When she is creating her own productions of original plays created with her own company, Artistic Fraud, she’s terrific.

Read Full Review07/28/2017

The Stratford Beacon Herald - Geoff Dale

Powerfull intensive exploration of...

“Realized beautifully in a savage, wildly imaginative and contemporary fashion by director Jillian Keiley, Euripides’ work was first performed in at the Theatre of Dionysus in 405 BC as part of a tetralogy, winning first prize in the competition…

The well-rounded cast features stellar work from Nigel Bennett as Agave’s father Kadmos who, like his daughter, must endure the painful journey descending from sheer joy to soul-destroying reality; Graham Abbey as a boisterous Teiresias; Brad Hodder as the guard, and E.B. Smith, who as the herdsman, provides a wonderfully entertaining narrative of the Bakkhai’s adventures.”

Read Full Review06/19/2017

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Stunning translation of Euripidean...

“…a Stratford Festival production of a classic that goes beyond the merely excellent to the essential…

Dionysos has punished Agave and her family for spreading a rumour that he is not a god – the whole play is a kind of revenger’s tragedy.

But what does this mad vision of Euripides mean to us today? What’s greatest about Carson’s translation and Keiley’s production is that it does not seem to be saying any one thing. It seduces you with one side of humanity, then disturbs you with it. What can you say? Except that it’s foolish to imagine you can stamp the Dionysian out.È

Read Full Review06/18/2017

The Toronto Star - Carly Maga

Hubris is the real villain

“In Jillian Keiley’s production of Bakkhai (otherwise known as Euripides’ The Bacchae), using the 2015 version adapted by Canadian poet Anne Carson, the double meaning of Shawn Kerwin’s set as both a representation of nature as well as female sexuality instantly demonstrates the director’s approach to this classic Greek tragedy.

It transforms these two elements into one and the same: organic, primal, brutal if it needs to be.’

Read Full Review06/18/2017

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