Prometheus Bound at the White Bear
Cieranne Kennedy-Bell takes on Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy and directs it with a tidy clarity. The stage is sparse but a canvas drape hangs on the back wall with threatening chalk markings of eagles and birds swarming the rock on which Prometheus is bound: a simple yet effective statement of Heather Mort’s design.
Our Prometheus, Henry Regan, is strung up for the entire 75 minutes and secured by leather straps. The intensity of this actor’s delivery is appropriate and captivating – he carries and guides the show. Occasionally, we lose him to inner turmoil but when this is exposed again it captures the audience quickly. Regan keeps the audience interested and provides the thumping current of the journey.
Christie Banks, who plays Io, manages to enchant her audience despite her transformation into a cow by the lustful Zeus. Jacob Dunn plays Power, with a voice that carries and dominates the stage and an impassioned presence. If only his role was in the production a little more often. Chris Walters’ Hermes is suitably sinister and he uses the height and slimness of his frame well.
However, Phoebe Morris’ costume design is questionable, particularly in regards to the chorus. The flimsy, electric-blue material that is used for their tops and matching eye make-up appears too modern and detracts attention from their performance. It was a very obvious, seemingly amateur choice that visually clashed with the stage. A more subtle approach would have fared better and helped the audience connect to their use of language and characterisation. That said, the chorus do a good job and their intention is discernible although occasionally overplayed – at times twitching too much when stillness is needed. Occasionally, a couple of the chorus players seemed to lose focus during speeches by the principal actors which was noticeable by the placement of their eyes and a sudden lull in energy.
Nonetheless, the story is clear. Annelie Nederberg’s good sound design encourages the plot development and the production is kept simple which is a suitable choice for such a complex text and black box theatre. Fire Under The Horizon theatre company sees “the written text as only the beginning of the exploration” and this is apparent throughout. Prometheus Bound is a well-defined interpretation, which makes the journey all the more accessible to its audience.
Prometheus Bound is at the White Bear Theatre until 2nd June 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.