Fri 5th – Sat 13th Aug 2011


“A disturbing journey of self-discovery through a sinister underworld of the imagination.”





St Paul's School


A disturbing journey of self-discovery through a sinister underworld of the imagination.

A chance encounter with a man on the run, a heavily tattooed corpse and a stranger who might just be Death himself. Three glimpses into a world that is strange, dangerous, exciting and far from Oliver's everyday existence. Oliver is about to embark on a traumatic journey that will tear apart his whole identity - but his isn't the only life that will be affected by the decisions he makes.

St Paul’s School returns to C Venues with Orpheus, a dark exploration of the nature of male identity and creativity in the modern world, featuring extensive interaction between stage performance and film specially recorded across London.

Taking inspiration from Cocteau's 1949 film of the same name, Orpheus radically re-works the story of the artist who descends to the underworld to rescue his deceased wife, taking as great liberties with the film as Cocteau took with the original Greek myth: Cocteau’s creatively exhausted middle-aged poet seeking new inspiration becomes Oliver, the young man with artistic potential who has sold his soul to advertising. The possibilities of Cocteau’s ‘hell’, with its imagery of urban decay, are expanded into a far more sinister exploration of creativity born out of damage and desolation as reflected in street art, tattoos and industrial music. From satire of the world of advertising, the genre of the play itself buckles as it tests the boundary between originality and insanity finally to question the nature of causality and temporality in ways reminiscent of the work of William Blake and David Lynch.

St Paul’s School has a strong tradition of drama with a host of actors (Rory Kinnear), stage and film directors (Jonathan Miller, Chris Weitz), lighting designers (Neil Austin) and playwrights (Peter Shaffer, Patrick Marber) to its name, not to mention a new partnership with the Lyric, Hammersmith. After the success of its last Edinburgh production, Quaternary (★★★★★ British Theatre Guide, ★★★★ ThreeWeeks), Orpheus sees talented young actors and film directors pushing themselves again into the realm of experimental drama that is both intellectually challenging and emotionally harrowing.

Website: http://www.orpheus2011.com

Downloadable images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orpheus2011

Admission: £8.50(£5) – £10.50(£6.50)

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