A theatre programme from 1995 for a production of 'Phaedra' at the Bristol Old Vic.

My trips to the theatre have been all too few and far between, and can quickly be enumerated in full:

  1. A traditional pantomime I saw as a child at the New Theatre in Cardiff. I don’t recall which pantomime it was.
  2. As part of a school outing we were taken to see J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, again in Cardiff, this time at the Sherman Theatre.
  3. On a somewhat longer excursion from school I saw Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  4. Sartre’s No Exit and a one-act play whose title I forget on the same evening at the Students' Union, Imperial College.
  5. The Pope and the Witch by Dario Fo, with Frances de la Tour as the Witch, at the Comedy Theatre, London.
  6. A Romanian production of Phaedra “after Seneca and Euripides” adapted and directed by Silviu Purcărete as brought to the UK by the National Theatre of Craiova, which I saw at Bristol Old Vic in June ‘95.

Since then, means, motive and opportunity have never seemed to quite align. As a keepsake, I held on to the programme (above) for the last of these, which for me was the most memorable and impressive of the six. A stark classical tragedy performed in Romanian (there were English surtitles over the stage) wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it mesmerising. While not a dance piece as such, there was as much choreography involved as scripted drama, all enacted on a mostly bare stage. There is what I think may be complete footage of the production on YouTube (albeit in blurry, poor-quality video) here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.