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This Restless House

Aeschylus / Citizens Theatre / Dominic Hill / Zinnie Harris
22 - 27 August 2017
The Lyceum

A father’s horrifying sacrifice of his daughter sets in motion a cycle of bloody revenge. Murder and madness ensue, testing the loyalties of his remaining children and propelling them to the edge of reason. The curse that has gripped the family for generations looks as if it will never end as the ghosts of the past continue to haunt and torment the survivors.

Award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris reimagines Aeschylus’s 2,500-year-old drama Oresteia. In this blistering new version Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, Orestes and Electra are a dysfunctional family of today, coping with the huge emotions and dark consequences of their deeds.

Staged last year at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, Oresteia: This Restless House drew enormous praise for its breathtaking power and its visceral staging, winning Best New Play at the Critics's Awards for Theatre in Scotland and receiving a nomination for Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards. Celebrated internationally for plays including Further Than the Furthest Thing and The Wheel, Harris devises rich, pungent writing to capture both the gothic horror and the heartbreaking passions at the core of this ancient Greek tragedy. Oresteia: This Restless House is at once a trailblazing updating and a compelling, brutal soap opera, exposing the fragility of a family’s bonds.

Pauline Knowles was awarded a best actress award from the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for her role as the vengeful Clytemnestra and leads a powerful cast. Acclaimed theatre-maker Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre, directs this production with a score of splintered piano and percussion by Nikola Kodjabashia performed live on stage by the cast and composer.

This is one of three productions by celebrated playwright Zinnie Harris in this year’s International Festival.

Breathtaking... powerful... trailblazing

The Scotsman

A production of depth, ambition and creepy power

The Guardian

Contains violence, nudity, strong language and strobe lighting

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  • Captioned:
    26 Aug 6pm
  • Running time: 
    4hrs 25mins approx (two intervals)
  • Audio Described:
    27 Aug 6pm
  • BSL interpreted:
    27 Aug 6pm


The Lyceum

30b Grindlay Street

Supported through the
Scottish Government's
Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund

Supported through the Scottish Government's Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund


  • British sign language
  • Audio described
  • Captioned performance
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    An Edinburgh International Festival revival of a Citizens Theatre production, in association with the National Theatre of Scotland.

    In a special season for the 70th anniversary four of Scotland's theatre companies – Citizens Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Traverse Theatre Company and Vox Motus – present works which consider the origins of European drama.

    Zinnie Harris Writer
    Dominic Hill Director
    Colin Richmond Designer
    Ben Ormerod Lighting designer
    Nikola Kodjabashia Composer
    EJ Boyle Movement director
    EmmaClaire Brightlyn Fight director
    Jack Nurse Assistant director

    Cast George Anton, George Costigan, Keith Fleming, Pauline Knowles, Lorn Macdonald, Itxaso Moreno, Olivia Morgan, John O'Mahoney, Anita Vettesse

    More information about some of the artists

    Citizens Theatre
    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Zinnie Harris

    Oresteia: This Restless House | The Scotsman

    May 2nd 2016

    Breathtaking... powerful... trailblazing ★★★★★

    Read the full review

    Review by: 

    Joyce McMillan
    The Scotsman

    Oresteia: This Restless House | The Guardian

    May 3rd 2016

    A production of depth, ambition and creepy power ★★★★★

    Read the full review

    Review by: 

    Mark Fisher
    The Guardian

    Photo: Tim Morozzo

    This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

    The 2018 International Festival will be available to browse online in the spring.


    Grand circle (preview): £26 £22 £15 £10
    Stalls (preview): £26 £22 £20 £10
    Stalls boxes (preview): £22
    Upper circle (preview): £22 £20 £15 £10
    Grand circle: £32 £25 £17 £10
    Stalls: £32 £25 £22 £10
    Stalls boxes: £25
    Upper circle: £25 £22 £17 £10

    Current discounts

    Students: 30% OFF
    Senior citizens: 30% OFF
    Unemployed: 30% OFF
    BECTU, Equity, MU: 30% OFF
    Under 18s: 50% OFF
    Young Scot cardholders: 50% OFF