REVIEW: Hippolytus

Robyn Bellinger was impressed by Hippolytus, an ancient play with a fresh perspective

Ancient Greece Classical Classics Drama Gods Greece greek greek tragedy Hippolytus Phaedra play plays review Reviews Theatre tragedy

Come and immerse yourself in a land where the gods are constantly present, and interfering in the lives of ‘mortals’.

Photo Credit: Alice Atlee

In this setting, Hippolytus charts the story of Phaedra and Hippolytus, one of a forbidden, unrequited love prompted by the gods. The play began with the immersive sound of the waves in Ancient Greece, which drew the audience in immediately. There were then very, very strong performances from the entire cast. They clearly had a strong team ethos because they were able to react so well to each other, and support each other through their different passages.

This strong relationship was clearest between Rebecca Metzer (who played the Nurse) and Inge-Vera Lipsius (Phaedra). The two managed to master a vast array of emotions as a duo, which meant that the scenes between them, which were often long, did not become monotonous. Metzer began by being in control, but it was very clear from the physicality of the actors, as well as their use of space, that there wasa role reversal more or less halfway through the play. This kept the audience engaged because the actors were constantly changing their emotions.

Photo Credit: Alice Atlee

These two actors were both very commendable. Lipsius had such a strong character, and was able to portray aptly and easily some very difficult states of mind. This was achieved not just through a stunning vocal range, from which it was easy for the audience to see what she was trying to portray, but also through incredibly physicality. There was also a clear attention to detail and she was consistently in character, even when she was not the focus of the scene.

Metzer also gives a very strong performance. At times you hate the character, and at others you pity her. She manages to bring the character to life in a way that is very convincing and consistent.

Another character who was enjoyable to watch was the eponym Hippolytus himself, played by Adam Mirsky. The performance that he gave was very original – he gave new dimensions to the character, rather than emphasizing the character’s chastity, as is done normally. Mirsky instead used his own interpretation to modernise the character, making the play relatable and new.

Photo Credit: Alice Atlee

All in all Hippolytus was an impressive performance which not only handled the subject matter with maturity, but which also used innovative ideas and a fresh perspective — it is definitely worth going to see it.

4/5 stars