Chances to see the mammoth masterwork are few and far between, though there is a 1947 film version with Michael Redgrave, Rosalind Russell and Kirk Douglas. Epic in scope as well as length (4 hours and 15 minutes), the play is based on Aeschylus’s Oresteia. It depicts the return from the American Civil War of Ezra Mannon. In his absence there has been betrayal, and his reappearance sparks a violent cycle of revenge.
NT Associate Helen Mirren (“Prime Suspect”) stars, her first play in England since last year’s turn in The Dance of Death and first return to the company since an ill-fated Antony and Cleopatra with Alan Rickman. Her co-stars are Tim Pigott-Smith (last seen in New York in Davies’s production of The Iceman Cometh opposite Kevin Spacey) and fast rising actress Eve Best as her vengeful daughter. Also in the cast are Paul Hilton, Paul McGann, Clarke Peters and Dominic Rowan.
Designs are by Bob Crowley, with Mark Henderson lighting, music by Dominic Muldowney and sound by Christopher Shutt. The show will play in the Lyttleton Theatre, the NT’s proscenium auditorium.
This is the NT’s first grapple with classic American drama since Nicholas Hytner became artistic director. However, he previously directed Mirren in Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse.
For ticket information, call (0)207 452 3000, or visit http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk(http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/).