The Seizure

03 May 2012-19 May 2012,

Brunswick,

Theatre,

Theatre Previews

Benedict Hardie talks to Time Out about his new play, The Seizure, an adaptation of Sophocles' Philoctetes

This event has finished

There are two ways to adapt a classic. You can either rewrite it as an "iPhones and Obama" play – a version where the all the archaisms of place and time are carefully replaced with modern analogues – or you can "de-locate" the action, placing it in a world that is recognisable, but not definitively our own, a place that is both new and old all at once.

This at least is the off-the-cuff theory of Benedict Hardie, writer of Yuri WellsDelectable Shelter, The Nest,and now The Seizure.

In 2010, writing The Nest, which adapted Maxim Gorky's The Philistines, Hardie took the first route. This time, adapting Sophocles' Philoctetes, he has gone the other way.

Philoctetes is a painful case. He was abandoned on a deserted island by the Greek armada sailing for Troy. A snake bite on his foot had become infected, producing an odour intolerable to his companions.

Arriving at Troy, however, the Greeks discover that, according to prophecy, in order to defeat the Trojans they must recover the bow of Heracles, which just happens to be in the possession of none other than Philoctetes.

As the play opens, Odysseus and Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, are newly arrived on Philoctetes' lonely island. What they find is a man furious at being betrayed, and unwilling to budge.

"So there is still the bow and still the Trojan war," says the award-winning writer. "But the dialogue is contemporary. It's really two things at once."

On the surface, the play is incredibly simple. It's set in one spot, a tiny island, has only a handful of key characters, and is tied up neatly at the end. But, according to Hardie, it gets more difficult the more you think about it.

"There's a lot in this play that appeals to me, about how people hurt each other, and our capacity for cruelty," he explains, "but it's a really maddening tragedy. No one dies at the end. You find you don't even remember the climax. What you remember is the suffering and the injustice of the beginning."

Sign up to our monthly arts newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

By Andrew Fuhrmann   |  

The Seizure details

Studio 246


Address
246a Sydney Rd

Brunswick 3056

Transport
Nearby Stations: Brunswick; Jewell

Price from $22.00 to $30.00

Date 03 May 2012-19 May 2012

Open 8pm

Director: Benedict Hardy

Cast: Christopher Brown, Haiha Le, Brian Lipson, Naomi Rukavina

Studio 246 details

Brunswick area guide

Restaurants near Studio 246

Town Hall Kebabs

25m - Going to the car wash can sure raise an appetite. Thankfully the good folk...

Mr and Mrs Howell

125m - Set up in the new Jewell precinct developement on Sydney Road, Mr and Mrs...

Curious Goose Café

192m - Named after chef-owner Robin Neabes’ inquisitive daughter Lucy, Curious...

Bars & pubs near Studio 246

Amelia Shaw

89m - Brunswick’s finally got a real cocktail bar. You may not know about it yet...

Retreat Hotel

117m - The Retreat Hotel on Sydney Road is a slice of northside legend that's...

The Spotted Mallard

180m - Welcome to the prettiest live music pub in the land, with the most...

Other venues near Studio 246

Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre

48m - Suitable for theatre and related rehearsals to the theatre companies booked,...

Kinki Gerlinki: Brunswick

68m - For those of you about to poo hoo this recommendation due to the sheer...

Counihan Gallery in Brunswick

68m - Named after Australian artist and activist Noel Counihan, Counihan Gallery...

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus
 


© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.