Making its London premiere at the Young Vic following success in New York, Sarah Rhul's 'Eurydice' is a re-imagining of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice's tragic marriage. According to legend the star-crossed lovers marriage comes to an abrupt end on the day it takes place when the ill fated Eurydice mistakenly walks in to a snake pit and dies after being bitten on the ankle.
The play unfolded centre stage with the audience lining all four sides. It was unclear what the intention of the grated walkway and stage were, other than to thwart those of us in heels, but all became clear as water spurted from the floor in the post-wedding scene. In other scenes it fell in a shower from the roof and gushed across the floor at the entrance to the underworld to erase the memories of its arrivals.
In what is perhaps a sideways, tongue in cheek take on the general consensus around Eurydice's untimely death by snake bite, Rhul's play has her approached outside the wedding by a city styled 'nasty interesting man' whom by chance has intercepted a letter from her dead father. In a bid to seduce her he lures her up his high-rise tower with a promise of passing the letter on to her. Whilst trying to escape the lecherous little creep Eurydice tumbles down the stairs falling finally to her death in the underworld.
Legend tells that Apollo was Eurydice's father, and departing from the myth his inclusion as Underworld resident was an interesting way to develop the characters however at times the dialogue and story exchange between father and daughter teetered on the dull side.
Rhys Rusbatch as the pre-pubescent Lord of the Underworld was the comedy injection needed to keep the tedium during some of these exchanges at bay. Cycling around or his tricycle blasting out rock and roll and sucking on a lollipop he succeeded in getting a lot of laughs from the audience whilst lusting after Eurydice.
Eurydice is at Young Vic until 5th June, tickets £17.50, for more information visit the Young Vic website.