Imagine this: Alice in Wonderland meets Greek myth. And there you have Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl. Coming to Cygnet Theatre Oct 27th, Ruhl’s Eurydice made great waves in New York where it was stated as a ‘weird and wonderful new play’. Now the celebrated playwright’s bold re-interpretation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice makes its Exeter premiere by the ensemble collective Cygnet Company who brought you Terrorism by the Presnyakov Brothers earlier this year, to rave reviews.
Ruhl’s script has been explicitly written so as to be a playground for the designer of the sets, so something else to look forward to is the ever bold design of their Director, Alistair Ganley. Eurydice Director Alistair is a trained Drama Therapist and lectured on Plymouth University’s MA in Drama therapy. He is a regular artistic collaborator with Jojo Spinks as Interwoven Theatre and directed ‘Severance’ in collaboration with Trash Dollies and ‘Vega’ with Kayleigh Ann Crook. Other work includes acting and directing for Theatre Royal Plymouth, Men Moving Bridge with Paul Beaumont and Being In Between at Bristol Zoo, 2005. Alistair became Associate director of Cygnet Theatre in the early 90s and since then he has helped develop the Company’s movement training programme and directed many highly acclaimed productions.
Actor Jessica Parsons as Eurydice
But what’s the play about? Eurydice is in love with Orpheus. Her dead father has advice for her wedding but his letters can’t get through to the land of the living. At last one does. With his words in hand, Eurydice crashes down a flight of stairs and wakes in the underworld, her memory wiped.
How will she ever get home? Alice in Wonderland meets Greek myth; Eurydice is a playful and heart-breaking American take on a timeless tale of loss, grief and redemption.
This tender-hearted comedy blows the dust off the classical myth to reveal a contemporary tale filled with romance, comedy and dancing.
Cygnet Company is a talented young company of actors currently working as an ensemble cast in a unique style of rep theatre training. Cygnet Theatre has been training young actors and launching them into the profession for over 35 years. Over those years Cygnet graduates have gone on to work in all areas of theatre, TV and film, both in this country and abroad, as well as founding theatres (The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter – an award-winning performance space) and forming their own companies (Creative Cow and The Original Theatre Company among others). The work produced by the current Cygnet Company is highly praised as excellent, bringing terrific energy and insight to the script. This is ensemble work at a high level.
Cygnet Company actors will also be taking part in Exeter Northcott Theatre’s Christmas production again this year following their success in A Christmas Carol last year. As Cygnet began with encouragement from Richard Digby Day, then Artistic Director of the Northcott, this year’s production of Peter Pan will see a link once again with the theatre through Paul Jepson, current Artistic Director marking a step towards developing the historical partnership and commitment to producing the stage talent of tomorrow.
Actors Jessica Parsons as Eurydice and Jake Sullivan as Orpheus
Sarah Ruhl’s other plays include In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes Award for best new play); Melancholy Play; Demeter in the City (9 NAACP image award nominations), Orlando and Late: a cowboy song. Her plays have been produced throughout the United State s and translated into Polish, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Korean, German and Arabic.
Eurydice is Cygnet Theatre’s in house production staged by their own Cygnet Company and directed by Cygnet’s Artistic Director Alistair Ganley. It opens on Thursday 27th October and runs until Friday 4th November.
Check out Cygnet Theatre’s website for tickets and times: www.cygnettheatre.co.uk