One of Shakespeare’s most vexatious plays, Troilus and Cressida, comes to the Warehouse Studio Theatre in Brussels from 19-23 September and 27-30 September, courtesy of the amateur theatre Brussels Shakespeare Society (BSS).
A very bleak, depressing play in its denouement,Troilus and Cressida nevertheless vaccilates between bawdy comedy and tragedy throughout, which has earned it the reputation of being one of the Bard’s ‘problem’ plays.
BSS doyen Stephen Challens is set to direct, and he assures Together that, while the play has had to be cut somewhat from its original four-plus hours running time “I am confident that, with our talented cast, we have very much captured the essence of the play”.
Troilus and Cressida is set during the later years of the Trojan War, faithfully following the plotline of the Iliad from Achilles’ refusal to participate in battle to Hector’s death. Essentially, two plots are followed in the play. In one, Troilus, a Trojan prince (son of Priam), woos Cressida, another Trojan. They have sex, professing their undying love, before Cressida is exchanged for a Trojan prisoner of war. As he attempts to visit her in the Greek camp, Troilus glimpses Diomedes flirting with his beloved Cressida, and decides to avenge her perfidy. In the other plot, the play revolves around the leaders of the Greek and Trojan forces, Agamemnon and Priam respectively. Agamemnon and his cohorts attempt to get the proud Achilles to return to battle and face Hector, who sends the Greeks a letter telling them of his willingness to engage in one-on-one combat with a Greek soldier. Ajax is originally chosen as this combatant, but makes peace with Hector before they are able to fight. Achilles is prompted to return to battle only after his dear friend and possible lover, Patroclus, is killed by Hector before the Trojan walls.
So, Troy awaits – and the BSS is bearing a gift.
Troilus and Cressida
19-23 (20h with additional matinee on 23 September at 14h) & 27-30 September (20h, no matinee on 30 September)
Director: Stephen Challens
Venue: Warehouse Studio Theatre
Rue Waelhem 69A, 1030 Schaerbeek Brussels
Tickets available at: https://thelittleboxoffice.com/bss