Five star Elektra

Richard Strauss’ Elektra opened last night in a revised version of James Robinson’s 2007 production.  The setting is fairly straightforward and a bit drab; vaguely Victorian, or perhaps Gormenghast, which seems about right for the hagridden House of Atreus.  The stage is severely raked; back to front. and stage left to right.  There are a couple of walls with entrances.  There’s a strange little hut which, it turns out, forms a sort of trap door to the palace.  Costumes are either shapeless (ladies) or vaguely reminiscent of evening wear (gentlemen).  In this setting the action plays out convincingly enough with even difficult scenes like Elektra’s “death dance” well handled.  The tricky scenes between Elektra and Klytämnestra and Elektra and Orest have the appropriate degree of tension and suspense.

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