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Sunday, August 7, 2022

SHOWBIZ: And She Would Stand Like This

And She Would Stand Like This takes Euripides’ tragedy, The Trojan Women, and brilliantly re-imagines it in drag.
This is a luminous production with a terrific ensemble cast.
Hecuba (Kikki Temple) is drag mother to her chosen family, the ‘House of Hecuba’.
Her ‘children’, Grace (Mikki Daely), Miss Scott (Guillaume Gentil) and Baby (Peter Wood), make up the Greek chorus and prance, pose, and death drop down the fabulous runway that forms Karine Larché’s striking set.
Daely, Gentil and Wood bring glitter, fierceness, and pathos recounting their individual stories.
No one believes her when Cassandra (Celina Yuen) foresees a dark future full of fear.
Yet, soon after, the catwalk becomes a hospital waiting room.
The Greek herald, Talthybius (Jalen Ong), is now a doctor with the onerous task, having “drawn the short straw”, of delivering the mounting bad news of death and disease.
No news is good news, so the actors turn on the hapless messenger.
In playwright Harrison David Rivers’ version, the enemy is not the invading Greek army; the enemy is the mysterious plague, politics and the hospital CEO, Elena (Michele Perera).
Sound designer Olivia McKenna’s arresting soundscape, like an alien presence, regularly interrupts the action—a disrupter, just like the mysterious disease, compounding the grief.
“Have you ever noticed how a word begins to lose all meaning when it is said over and over again?” Hecuba says.
Immersed in another tragic, ever-evolving pandemic, the timing of this play is even more poignant.
Amazing that the bones of a play written over 2000 years ago can still have such resonance.
-Review by Kathryn Keeble