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image for articleMarch 29th to 2nd April at the Pleasance Theatre

When looking for a play to direct for Theatre in the Square, I created a criterion: I wanted it to be imaginative and moving and also contemporary. Preferably, I wanted it to be written by a woman and have strong female characters. It was during this search that I came across the work of Sarah Ruhl.

Sarah Ruhl is a contemporary American playwright. Two of her plays have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for drama – The Clean House (2004) and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) (2009). She is known for her ability to mix mythic themes with the mundane aspects of daily life. This is exactly what attracted me to Eurydice; the mix of ancient mythology, with contemporary language and characters.

Eurydice (2003) retells the Orpheus myth from the perspective of his wife. We follow her descent into the Underworld, her struggle to retain her memory and her choice between returning to the land of the living with Orpheus or staying in the Underworld with her father.

Ruhl wanted to explore the different relationships Eurydice has with the men in her life. Her epic romantic love with Orpheus is contrasted with her struggle to resist the seductions of the Lord of the Underworld and her relationship with her father has a central theme in the play. In fact, the character of her father is one that Ruhl has added to the original myth and is presumably an important addition, since she dedicates the play to her own father.

Eurydice is witty, poetical and of course ultimately tragic. It’s been great fun imagining the Underworld and retelling this ancient myth in a modern way. Do join us for a night of tragic romance in the underworld.

Sal Fulcher, Director

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