Monday, April 20, 2015

Review of Promethean Theatre Ensemble's Tiger at the Gates

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Tiger at the Gates. It was by Jean Giraudoux and it was translated by Christopher Fry. It was directed by John Arthur Lewis. It was about what happened just before the Trojan War and you see how the different relationships developed over this time and what people lost. This play is interested in how war affects us and about how stupid the reasons are for going to war. I thought that this was a great show because it looked at the different ways that people think about war.

The relationships are romantic, like between Hector (Jared Dennis) and Andromache (Heather Smith) and Paris (Nick Savin) and Helen (Michelle M. Oliver). At the beginning of the play, the romantic relationships are the saddest because if you know a lot about the Trojan War you know who dies and that is sad because you see how much Hector and Andromache love each other and they don't want the war because Andromache is going to have a baby. Helen and Paris I think have the least good relationship because it doesn't seem like Helen really loves Paris. It seems like she loves herself more than Paris. There are also family relationships which are pretty sad, like Hector and Cassandra (Jamie Bragg) and Paris and Polyxene (Avery Moss) and Troilus (Spenser Davis) and their parents Hecuba (Elaine Carlson) and Priam (Jerry Bloom). Basically this entire show is all one big family. The family relationship changes because at the beginning they are all happy because one war ended. But then as it moves on they get sadder and sadder but then there is a speck of hope that there will be no war. As they think the war is about to start, they all have a meeting about how they can get through it together. And I found it very sad when they are all talking and they realize that they may not see each other again. There are also friendships like between the Mathematician (Brian J. Hurst) and Demokos the poet (Brendan Hutt). And Hector and Ulysses (David F. Meldman) seem like they could be friends, but they aren't because a certain poet lied about who hurt him. The person who really hurt the poet was really Ajax (Christopher Marcum). And I think that Hector seems like the best friend in this show because he is always truthful and doesn't want anyone to get hurt.

This war happens all over one lady, Helen. But she is more an excuse. The people who want the war most are the people who have the least to do with it, like the Mathematician and Demokos. And they want the war because they find it exciting and they don't have to fight. And I find that maddening because people are going out there and risking their lives, but the poet and the mathematician are the ones who are just going to sit there and think about it instead of actually going out to help them. They just are yelling battle cries to start a war that eventually no one will want. It really made me mad about people who enjoy war and watching people suffer and die.

This is a very sad play, but there was one funny scene where the poet and mathematician were trying to write a song about how awesome the Trojans are. And they are saying, "We need some insults" so they can yell them before they kill other people because they thought, "We are the only people who don't yell insults before we kill. And Hecuba made a bunch of really good mockeries. And you would usually think a refined queen would not be insulting but in this case she is and that made her even more awesome. That scene also showed how Hecuba was a sassy person. It made you love her even more because she is one of the sane people.

People who would like this show are people who like good ideas about war, standing up for peace, and sassy queens. I think people should definitely go see this show. I feel that it made a lot of very meaningful points and I really liked it.

Photos: TCMcG Photography

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