Recipient of a 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award.
When King Pandion marries his daughter Procne off to war hero King Tereus, she must leave her beloved sister Philomela behind. After years of isolation in a foreign land, Procne begs Tereus to collect her sister for a visit. When confronted with Philomela’s beauty, Tereus’s desire triumphs over reason, igniting a chain of horrific events. A harrowing exploration of violence and revenge, this adaptation features a chorus of ravaged women, each a survivor of a 20th Century conflict: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Nanking, and Berlin.
This powerhouse of a play about the sexual politics of war is shocking and brutal, yet beautifully crafted in the style of a greek tragedy. Reading it off the page was a visceral and full body experience. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see it in a theatre or come to life in another setting that speaks to the world of the play.
I admit that although I consider myself an actor, it’s not often that I read a play and feel an overwhelming desire to perform in it. This play joins my list of dream plays in which I would love to fully immerse and give of myself.
It grabs the gut and it doesn’t let go.
link to Playwrights Canada Press