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News > Heritage > Oedipus Tyrannus 1997

Oedipus Tyrannus 1997

Looking back 26 years ...
7 Jun 2023

We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Greek Play this summer 'Oedipus The King' from Saturday 24 June 2023 to Tuesday 27 June 2023.

We are pleased to share some photographs which have been loaned to the College by Claire Whitworth, formerly Pilkington, (I 95-97) who played Jocasta in the 1997 play Oedipus Tyrannus, alongside James Grey (H 92-97) as Oedipus.

Some are the more formal group, cast and chorus pictures and are included in a photo gallery below, but there are also some great pictures from when the group took the play on tour to Thassos in Greece from 15 - 29 July 1997.

Comments in the Bradfield Chronicle magazine of the time on some of the performers included:

James Grey's Oedipus was a mammoth and yet tender performance.

Claire Pilkington's Jocasta was by turns affectionate, tender, dignified, outraged, maternal and deeply-agonised.

Jocasta's brother Creon was sensitively and persuasively interpreted by Thomas Grey.

The role of Priest of Zeus was impressively-handled by Richard Chalmers.

Helen Holtom met the challenges of the second longest speech of the play with a mature and powerfully nuanced performance that won her praise in the national press. For many, Holtom's performance was the most dazzling and most gripping in the production.

The arrival of the Corinthian messenger in the third episode and one of the delights of Thomas Dingle's performance was his sensitivity to the tonal range of his character.

Edward Fairbairn's palace-set (designed by Derek Askew) seemingly hanging in mid-air with an effortless lack of interior walls, was somehow poignantly suggestive of House of Thebes's declining fortunes, and yet it also created an impressively versatile and practical acting-space for the royal characters of the play.

It is the members of the Chorus who are "the real heroes of the Greek Play" claimed the Director in her programme notes. Anyone who saw the 1997 Oedipus would surely agree. Led by their agile and elegant Coryphaeus Isabella Calthorpe, the Chorus members vividly reminded us of the religious, dithyrambic origins of Greek tragedy in dance, in song and in two intensely emotional outbursts (the kommoi).

Isabella Calthorpe and Hannah Knapp's delicate solos and the poised "rosebud" finale of the devastating second stasimon were beautifully accomplished.

We are so pleased that many of you are returning to see the play with us on Saturday 24 June and for any new tickets the link to register is here


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