Orpheus and Eurydice, National Youth Theatre, dir James Dacre, The Old Vic Tunnels
Classy. Classic tale of love as Orpheus descends to the underworld to rescue Eurydice, with a few modern reversals: a laser eye which architecturally frames the action throughout, scanners, a river which serves for forgetfulness, a crossroads and the famed Styx complete with Charon and his boat. It’s a tale told backwards with a neat promenade at the beginning, which gives nothing away until it’s needed. Stunning ensemble work, singing and live music delivered with conviction, energy and verve; with a chorus of liars, hate dwellers, sorrow dwellers and the Oracles’ Choir. The staging, lighting and sound is superb. While Molly Davies creates dialogue with a ‘language which is intimate yet epic and lives up to the scale of these tunnels.’ And the setting is fabulous. With the constant rumble of the trains from Waterloo an evocative backdrop, while the curved arches and steel grille provide a vision of hell that is real and palpable, and stays in the mind long after the production has finished……Orpheus and Eurydice is the total theatre package…….