Modern spin on Oedipus story takes the stage again

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It’s a ridiculous —42 C outside, but when I chat with Kevin Orr, director and founder of Repercussion Theatre, he has just returned from a 20-minute walk, which he describes as “sub-arctic, but sunny and amazing.”

 

Orr is beaming and energetic on the frosty March afternoon, not because he loves the cold, but because he is lucky enough to do what many theatre artists never can — he’s about to re-stage an award-winning play with its original cast.

 

Greek, based on the classic Oedipus tale by Sophocles, won the Capital Critic’s Choice Award when it was produced by Third Wall Theatre in 2005. It returns to Ottawa again this week, before setting up shop in Montreal. Orr has assumed the familiar position of director for this latest staging, along with actors Chuck Herriott, Teri Rata Loretto, Margo MacDonald and Steward Matthews

 

Written in the 1980s by British playwright Steven Berkoff, Greek is set in working class England. Just like you’d expect, it’s full of sex, violence and vulgarity, but it’s also poetic and intelligent.


“When we did it last time we knew that we had one very cool, sexy, urban piece of art and we felt that more people wanted to see it,” says an exuberant Orr.


“Finally after two years of finagling, financing and finding a space and facilitating a time when all the actors could get together we’ve got it back and we’re over the moon.”


Orr says directing the play a second time has been “a piece of cake” and also affords him the rare opportunity to fix those things he didn’t love about the first production.


“We’ve come back at it two years more mature and I think it’s like a wine that’s been curing in the bottle. It’s that much deeper, richer and confident.”


Greek runs until March 17 at the Natalie Stern Studio Theatre, Ottawa School of Speech & Drama, 294 Picton Ave. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or by reservation at 1-888-931-2644.



kim.mannixvermette@metronews.ca

 
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