• 31 July 2006

This article is from 2006.

Although still a relative youngster, Van Badham is something of a fringe veteran these days, having brought seven productions in five years to Edinburgh. This feisty and prolific Australian dramatist shows a political awareness in all she does, and this adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Persians looks to have a particular edge.

In it, the central character proves to be Barbara Bush - yep, the mother of Dubya. And there are some striking parallels between this story and the dynastic expansionism of the Bush regime, the stony-faced patriarchal father, his fanatical and violent son, and their invasion of an ostensibly weak country which leads to a quagmire of atrocity and defeat. ‘It’s always been one of my favourite ancient plays’, says Badham, ‘and what’s so striking is how little this oldest of our tragedies is performed, especially now, when the story seems so relevant.’ Expect fireworks from this youthful Nottingham based company. (Steve Cramer)

UnderBELLY, 0845 745 3083, 6-27 Aug (not 16), 3.55pm, £8-£9 (£7-£8). Preview 3 & 4 Aug, £5.

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