I've got some frugal visitors with me next week and wondered if regulars on the Forum have been to either of these free productions...
Is Androcles just for kids?
>The Steam Industry will be performing two classic plays in repertory this summer in London's only free open air theatre.
>AGAMEMNON by Aeschylus
>Thu 29 July at 9pm.
>Fri 30 July - Sun 5 Sept Fri/Sat/Sun at 9pm
>One of the most powerful and gripping thrillers of all time, shot through with the haunting and magnificent poetry of Aeschylus, Agamemnon continues the story of 'Troy' where Hollywood and Brad Pitt left off.... Nigt after night Queen Clymnestra waits for her husband, King Agamemon to return victorious from the long war with Troy. When news arrives of his approach, the Queen and her people gather to greet him, but terrible rumours are circulating. Is the King to be welcomed home as a beloved hero, or will unexpected enemies plot revenge on this distant husband and cruel father?
>ANDROCLES & THE LION by Bernard Shaw
>Thu 5 Aug - Sun 5 Sept.
>Thu at 6.30pm, Sat/Sun at 3pm
>Bernard Shaw is at his mischevious best with his witty Roman comedy, Androcles and the Lion. When the timid Androcles stumbles across an angry lion, he cleverly spots a sharp thorn in the animal's paw that must be the cause of the beast's bad mood. Androcles removes the thorn and the two depart the best of friends, never expecting to see each other again. But the Roman Gladiators need captive humans and animals for their favourite holiday game - throwing Christians to the lions.... Poor androcles and his new friend are captured and forced to become the latest unwilling contestants!
Saw both these plays last week - they're fantastic, and well worth a visit. Androcles is supposedly aimed at children, although Bernard Shaw's idea of childrens' theatre isn't exactly Peter Pan. I think kids under 10 might find it hard going. But there are puppets and a brilliant lion (made by a designer who's worked on the Lion King). Agamemnon is probably the better play, really atmospheric in the fading summer light, with Tower Bridge lit up behind.
I wouldn't bother going to see Agamemnon. Judging by the review you've cut and pasted above, it looks like this bloke Aeschylus has just written a sequel to the film. And it's not even got Mr Pitt in it.
IMO these sequels are never much cop. You'd be better taking them to something like "Dodgeball", even if that means stumping up for tickets. If you want high class art, you can't expect not to pay for it.