Classic at the castle
This article is from 2007.
Stuffy studio venue after stuffy studio venue can drive the average Festival–goer mad, so why not escape the city for the rugged ramparts of the medieval Craigmillar Castle, where Racine’s classic Phaedre comes to life through skulls, sword fights and eerie music.
The play is minimally adjusted to fit the setting, as England and Scotland become the feuding nations and Christianity the governing religion. As we follow our mischievous guide through the narrow winds, we equate the inevitability of our fate with that of the characters, as, unacknowledged, except by the narrator, we observe the actions of ghostly presences, an illusion which is unfortunately and unnecessarily broken when the guide becomes part of the action.
On rare occasions the space isn’t utilised to its full potential, including unimaginatively seating us in rows to observe one scene, destroying the intimacy that the rest of the production works so hard to create.
Craigmillar Castle (bus departs C Chambers Street), 0845 260 1234, until 26 Aug, 6pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50).