Bertie Carvel, Lia Williams Among Stars of Ancient Greek Play Series at London's Almeida Theatre

News   Bertie Carvel, Lia Williams Among Stars of Ancient Greek Play Series at London's Almeida Theatre
London's Almeida Theatre is planning to stage a season of ancient Greek plays from May to November, with new versions of Oresteia, Bakkai and Medea that will variously feature Lia Wiliams, Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel, and Kate Fleetwood.

In a press statement, the Almeida's artistic director Rupert Goold has commented, "At the Almeida we strive to create theatre that asks questions of its audiences, of who they are and the world they live in, work that is alive and resonant. When we came to the writers of Ancient Greece we wanted to be true to their plays - staging them in full complexity, presenting their formal iconoclasm, their humor, musicality, politics, violence and unswerving drama.

"These writers took society’s old myths and made them new: changed them, exploded them, set them loose as contemporary stories that spoke to their city. At the same time they posed big, provocative, uncomfortable questions; ones which two thousand years later, we still struggle to answer. We want to follow their example. We are taking the Greeks out of the Attic."

Aeschylus's Oresteia will open the season, beginning performances May 29 prior to an official opening June 5 for a run through July 18. Presented in new version created by Almeida associate director Robert Icke, who also directs, it stars Lia Williams as Klytemnestra.

Euripides' Bakkai will begin performances July 23, prior to an official opening July 30, for a run through July 19. James Macdonald will direct Ben Whishaw as Dionysos, in a cast that also features Bertie Carvel, in a new version of the play Anne Carson, whose translation of Sophokles' Antigone, starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Ivo van Hove, is currently playing at the Barbican though March 28.

Euripides' Medea will begin performances Sept. 25 prior to an official opening Oct. 1, for a run through Nov. 14. Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold will direct Kate Fleetwood in the title role of the play, which is being presented in a new version by acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer Rachel Cusk. To buy tickets, which go on sale to members from March 17 and on general sale from March 24, contact the box office on 020 7359 4404 or visit

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