Bell Shakespeare brings new life to French classic

Phèdre, a tragic tale of forbidden love and revenge, is coming to the stage thanks to Bell Shakespeare. Starring Catherine McClements, the show will play in Melbourne and Sydney from 22 May.

The rest of the cast includes Marco Chiappi, Julie Forsyth, Bert Labonte, Olivia Monicciolo, Caroline Lee, Edmund Lembke-Hogan (of Bell Shakespeare’s 2012 Players) and newcomer Abby Earl, who stars in Channel 7’s new TV series, A Place Called Home.

The Jean Racine classic (as translated by Ted Hughes) will be directed by Peter Evans, Bell’s Co-Artistic Director.

“The story of Phèdre is a classic love triangle. It’s secrets and lies, forbidden love and the destruction of innocence,” says Evans.

“But it’s also about fathers and sons, and what it’s like to be the son of such a famous and infamous father.”

Phèdre is married King Theseus, who has been missing for months. Amidst rumors of his death, her desire for her stepson, Hippolytus, reaches its peak. Rejected by him and faced with the shock return of her husband, this mythic tale of erotic obsession explodes with wild accusations, chilling curses and violent deaths. It cannot end well, and, like any good tragedy, it doesn’t.

This is sure to be an explosive expansion of Bell Shakespeare’s timeless classic repertoire.

Phèdre is playing in Melbourne at Malthouse Theatre, 17 May – 2 June and Sydney Opera House 6 – 29 June 2013. For tickets and further information visitèdre

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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