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Oresteia | 2017 International Festival © Tim Morozzo

Oresteia: This Restless House

Aeschylus / Citizens Theatre / Dominic Hill / Zinnie Harris

Award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris reimagines Aeschylus’s 2,500-year-old drama Oresteia in a blistering new version staged by Citizens Theatre and directed by Dominic Hall.

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.

Contains violence, nudity, strong language and strobe lighting

Photo: Tim Morozzo

26 Aug 6pm
Audio Described
27 Aug 6pm
BSL interpreted
26 Aug 6pm

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
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Zinnie Harris

22-27 August 2017

  • The Lyceum (Show on map)
  • 4hrs 25mins approx (two intervals)
  • £10 - £32*

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2018 programme is now available to browse online. Click on What's On from the menu to see the full programme.

Breathtaking... powerful... trailblazing

The Scotsman

A production of depth, ambition and creepy power

The Guardian