The Return of the King

The Vortex Theater Company's production of Agamemnon is a feast for the eyes, ears, and even the nose as sight, sound, and smell join together in director Gisela Cardenas's bold new adaptation of Aeschylus's enduring tragedy. This innovative production is highlighted by strong performances and tight direction, and, despite a few wrong turns and an ending that overstays its welcome, it proves to be a unique theatrical event. Agamemnon tells the story of the great King's victorious return from the Trojan War. Anxiously awaiting him in Argos are his treacherous wife Clytemnestra (Linda Park), his faithful daughter Electra (Catherine Friesen), and his loyal citizens. Clytemnestra has ruled Argos during the King's 10-year absence with a secret hatred burning in her heart as she dreams of avenging her eldest daughter Iphigenia's death, a death for which Agamemnon (Jonathan Co Green) was culpable. With her new lover Aegistus (Seth Powers) by her side, Clytemnestra plots to murder the King upon his homecoming, with the impending action set against the backdrop of a great banquet.

Cardenas has written an inspired, if dense, adaptation. She reinvents the traditional Greek chorus as a team of chefs preparing Agamemnon's welcome feast. The Fates are transformed into three crudely mechanical dogs, brilliantly designed by Andrea Gastelum and maneuvered and "voiced" with excellent precision by a trio of actresses.

In addition, food is a major ingredient in this highly conceptualized adaptation. Much of the text concerns itself with food

Click for print friendly PDF version of this blog post