Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Bunker: Morgana and Agamemnon

Today is the last day of my stay-at-home holiday, and I have just got back from another trip to the Big Smoke, to see 'Limbo' at London Wonderground.

I booked it ages ago, (and have to say the lovely people at the Southbank centre were very helpful, when I needed to change the date of my ticket)

The BunkerAs I expected to have the afternoon to spare in London, before seeing the show, I also booked a ticket to see 'The Bunker: Morgana and Agamemnon', at the Southwark Playhouse (I didn't realise until afterwards that it was the last but one performance) - I was very favourably impressed.

The plays are set in a WW1 trench, and inspired by legends - 'Morgana' by Arthurian legends, and 'Agamemnon' by the story of Clytemnestra and her lover's murder of Agamemnon.

The performance takes place in a very small space, in which the audience sits on wooden benches around the edges of the performance space, so it's both intimate and somewhat claustrophobic.

'Morgana' features 3 young soldiers - the only survivors of 13 school friends, who as boys at their Tintagel school adopted the names of King Arthur and his knights. Those remaining, Arthur,(Dan Wood) Lancelot (Sam Donnelly) and Gawain (James Marlowe) while away the time in the trenches with songs, jokes and reminiscence, and the enigmatic Morgana / Gwen (Serena Manteghi). There was a particularly strong performance from James Marlowe as the innocent Gawain, and despite the tragedy of the setting, and the multiple betrayals which unfolded, there was also a lot of bleak humour. (and some audience participation with the singing!)

I felt that the second play, Agamemnon, was weaker, although still gripping. It was left deliberately unclear how much of the action involving 'Clytemnestra' and 'Aegisthus' was flashback, how much was 'Agamemnon's' imagination, brought on by his wounds, shell shock and guilt.

Very well worth seeing.

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