Compelling drama at Dundee Rep Theatre

Irene Macdougall plays the role of Queen Hecuba in Dundee Rep Ensemble's production which runs from October 17 to 26.
Irene Macdougall plays the role of Queen Hecuba in Dundee Rep Ensemble's production which runs from October 17 to 26.

Dundee Rep Ensemble presents ‘Hecuba’ by the great tragedian Euripides in a version by world-renowned playwright Frank McGuinness.

It runs from Thursday, October 17, to Saturday, October 26 at 7.30 p.m. nightly with matinees on Thursday, October 24 and Saturday, October 26.

Queen Hecuba experiences grief and loss on an epic scale in this devastating Greek tragedy performed in a specially constructed auditorium space on stage at Dundee Rep. The Greeks have entered Troy in the wooden horse, razed the city to the ground and killed most of Queen Hecuba’s family. Now she mourns, wondering what catastrophe will strike her next.

Queen Hecuba (played by Irene Macdougall) is married to King Priam of Troy. During the Trojan War she sees the death of her husband and most of her 19 children.

She sends her son Polydorus into the safekeeping of the king of Thrace and guards her daughter Polyxena tightly. When Hecuba finds out the Greeks intend to sacrifice her daughter she pleads for her daughter’s life.

‘Hecuba’ remains one of the greatest anti-war plays of all times, a thrilling and emotional cry of fury against treachery and greed.

This version of ‘Hecuba’ is by Frank McGuinness, the Irish playwright and poet whose work includes ‘The Factory Girls’, ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’ and numerous translations of classic plays. Directed by Amanda Gaughan, this production promises to be an intimate and thrilling theatrical experience.

The cast also features Caroline Deyga at Polyxena; Emily Winter (Chorus); Ncuti Gatwa I(Polydorus), Callum O’Neill (Odysseus/Agamemnon) and Ali Craig (Talthybias/ Polymester).

The drama continues on Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31 with ‘Lifeboat’, an incredible true story of survival and friendship.

It is the extraordinary true story of Bess Walder and Beth Cummings. Set in World War II, it is a story of courage, survival and enduring friendship.

On Friday September 13, 1940, a ship, The City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only 11 of the evacuees survived. Two 15 year old girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cumming, spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat. They willed each other to survive. ‘Lifeboat’ tells their story.

Dogstar Theatre Company presents ‘The Tailor of Inverness’ at Dundee Rep on Thursday, October 31 at 7.30 p.m. Winner of the 2009 Best Actor Award from the Scottish Critics, a Scotsman Fringe First and the 2008 Stage Best Solo Performer Award, Matthew Zajac’s phenomenal play about his Polish father has entranced audiences across the world. With a stunning violin accompaniment, ‘The Tailor of Inverness’ comes to Dundee for the first time, telling an extraordinary and moving story of survival in war-torn Europe. This is the first Scottish performances since 2010. Copies of Matthew’s new book on the story will be available for sale.

In November the Rep welcomes Claire Sweeney (Brookside) and John Thomson (Cold Feet) for John Godber’s bittersweet comedy, ‘September In The Rain’. It charts the life of Yorkshire couple Jack and Liz through their annual summer holiday jaunt across the Pennines to Blackpool, a ritual for over 40 years. It’s the golden age of donkey rides, talent contests, saucy postcards, stripy deckchairs, ice cream, rolled-up trousers and knotted hankies. The show runs from November 5 to 9.