by Lara Shalson for SF Bay Guardian
Troilus & Cressida
Troilus and Cressida John Hinkel Park, Southampton between San Diego and Somerset,
Berk; (510) 704-8210. Pay what you can. Sat-Sun, 5pm. Through Sept 1.
It's not exactly surprising that this is one of Shakespeare's least
popular plays. With more than 20 characters and several loosely intertwining
plotlines that often seem unmotivated - partly due to gaps in
the text and partly due to the fact that the characters themselves are
unsure about their reasons - it's a difficult play to follow.
The love affair between Troilus and Cressida is straightforward enough,
but it's almost a side note to the story of the Trojan War and some
of its most celebrated warriors (the Greek Achilles and the Trojan Hector
among them) that's also being told. Brushing up on the text beforehand
(or at least reading the notes in the program) is worth the effort.
The play does provide food for thought, making some valid points about
the tragic absurdities of war, and the Shotgun Players' production is
generally solid and enjoyable. (Shalson)
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