The Trojan Women

As part of the Women and War festival at Streatham Hill Theatre, I went to see a modern adaptation of Euripides’ The Trojan Women. Adapted and directed by Luke Ofield and Pip O’Neill, it is set in a post-nuclear fallout in which a group of surviving women gather in a camp in the south of England. They include Hecuba, an MP, her daughters, Cassandra and Andromache, and assorted other women searching for normality in an increasingly uncertain world.

The women come into conflict with an ambassador and the military, who want to send them away, but they are determined to assert their independence. This clever adaptation is short but memorable, looking at how people might react in the face of crisis and how they might pull together. There are strong performances from all involved, particularly Elizabeth McNally as Hecuba, who struggles to hold on to power and maintain her dignity.

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Baba’s War

Baba’s War by Steffi Walker is an exploration of three generations of women in the same family, their progress from Poland to Scotland to England, and how war affects both those involved and their future descendants. It’s about identity, family and traumatic experiences, with Walker playing her mother and grandmother as well as herself. She switches easily between personas and makes the whole thing memorable and thought-provoking.

Performed at the Streatham Hill Theatre as part of the ‘Women and War’ season, it’s well worth seeing.