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Classics play impresses packed audiences

This year’s Classics play, Euripides’ Greek tragedy ‘Andromache’, produced and directed by Head of Classics Mr Alastair Thorley, has been hailed a huge success.

For three nights the audience travelled back in time to the aftermath of the Trojan War to watch a tale of anger, jealousy and isolation between Andromache and Hermione unfold.

Andromache, played by Claire Murphy, takes centre stage in the performance after she was brought to Greece as a possession of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles.

But despite giving birth to his son, her status is under threat after Neoptolemus married Hermione, played by Almira Awan-Rutter.

The two women are at odds as Hermione believes the reason she cannot have a child is because Andromache has been poisoning her with magic and potions.

The downward spiral of the two characters unfolded before the audiences’ eyes, with magical musical accompaniments from Alan McCartney on guitar, Ruby Harrison on the ukulele/bass, Caitlin Cutts and Lydia Johnson on violin/vocals and Mr Thorley on cajon and guitar.

To provide the traditional choral odes throughout the performance, Mr Tom Buxton-Cope took to the stage in the role of a teacher with the support of Sana Ahmed and Hyesung Jang.

In the performance, Neoptolemus has left Hermione alone and his grandfather Peleus is also out of the city. This has left Andromache on her own and unprotected from Hermione’s wrath.

But with the return of Peleus, played by Alan McCartney, and support of a nurse played by Katie Hicks, a plot to kill Andromache and her son is thwarted.

The play draws to an end with Orestes, played by Charlie Escott, arriving on stage to run away with Hermione.

The audience is left to watch Peleus mourn his grandson’s (Neoptolemus) death. As a result of his death the performance ends with Andromache, and her son Mollossus, freed.

Mr Thorley said: “I have very much enjoyed working with the entire cast and crew of Andromache. Many of the cast have stepped well outside of their comfort zone in doing this play and I really appreciate their willingness to get involved. It is never easy performing in front of people but, I hope, it will all feel worth it.

“The set, which Mr Dan Farrell has created, is remarkable both in its size and execution and has really inspired the actors.”