Drawing: Lia Williams and Angus Wright in ORESTEIA

Oresteia

The much-lauded ancient Greek tragedy ORESTEIA’s transfer from North London’s small Almeida Theatre to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End ended on Saturday. Once again I left it to the final curtain (well, final day) to get a sketch signed, with more than the usual obstacles in the way.

This is a sharp contemporary production of Aeschylus’s trilogy. The play is nearly four hours long so the matinee starts at 1pm. I had this drawing of the two leads; Lia Williams as Klytemnestra and Angus Wright as Agamemnon for some time and had tried on a couple of occasions to get it ‘graphed. From that I gathered that both went in earlier than the rest of the cast so I stationed myself at the stage door around 10.30am.

Right: obstacles. Firstly, preparations for the Rememberance Sunday service on Whitehall, where the Studios are located, were underway. There were the usual access restrictions, but this was insurmountable. Secondly, two large removal vans were parked outside the stage door for the removal of the set and associated production paraphernalia after the evening’s performance, blocking the entire street (well backs alley). These proved to be more “visual obstacles” as the cast could slip by unnoticed. Thirdly, it was raining cats and dogs, and elephants and giraffes, in fact a veritable weather zoo. The Trafalgar stage door has little cover, but its redeeming feature is a small covered corridor leading to the internal door. That proved a sig-saver.

Having built you up with all these potential problems, Lia and Angus arrived together at 11am and both signed in the said redeemable covered corridor so I could have written this in two sentences, but where’s the fun in that… it’s a Greek tragedy after all.

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