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September 2017

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The Bacchae

Written by Euripides, in a new version by David Greig from a literal translation by Ian Ruffell.

This landmark production by the National Theatre of Scotland garnered all the headlines at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival and sold out before its first performance.

Director John Tiffany (Black Watch) has re-imagined Euripides’ ancient tragedy as a spectacularly bold, colourful piece of contemporary theatre. The language is modern, the action fast-moving and the themes of repression, sexuality and freedom of expression are as relevant today as ever.

In The Bacchae, Dionysus - the mercurial god of wine - returns to his home city of Thebes and demands worship from the local people. He infatuates and enraptures the local women - the Bacchae of the play’s title. They abandon their everyday lives and gather in the mountains to worship Dionysus and perform his mysterious rites.

Pentheus, the chauvinistic King of Thebes, is the catalyst for conflict in this drama. He bans all worship of the new god, refutes Dionysus’ claim to be divine and in doing so, seals his own fate.

Alan Cumming gives an award-winning, tour-de-force central performance as Dionysus, the charismatic and dangerous god and his chorus of Bacchae are a high-octane line-up of scarlet-clad, soulful female singers.

'If Greek tragedy makes you think of musty classrooms, this is a performance to blow the dust and cobwebs away.'
Scotland on Sunday * * * *

'Wow! You have never seen a Greek tragedy quite like this before...a production that is as daring and outrageous as it is epic . . . thrilling special effects . . . magnificent performances . . . unforgettable. . .’
Daily Telegraph

‘…infinitely worth seeing . . . astonishing visual coups-de-théâtre, blazing exhibitions of fire and light that are as witty as they are thrilling’
The Scotsman * * * *