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Review of Tanghalang Pilipino's: Eurydice

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

          Not long ago, I had the oppportunity to see a Filipino adaptation of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice which is based on the Greek myth of the love between Orpheus and Eurydice. It was performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theater in Manila. I was curious about how tiny the space could be and true enough, the stage was zoomed in. The crowd encircles the little stage almost touching the cast. Being so close to the actors, their facial expressions can clearly be seen making it more engaging.




The set had improvised leaves and branches made from twisted wires hanging from the ceiling. Also there was an elevator which rains inside to get someone to the underworld and a platform that served two different purposes all throughout the play: as a rooftop and room. Letters were dropping from the ceiling through manually-controlled empty soda bottles which moves through levers, making it amusing to see.



The story is about the myth of Orpheus from the point of view of Eurydice who is his wife. It has numerous scenes and the play is consisting of three movements. On the eve of Eurydice's marriage, a stranger appeared claiming that he has a letter from her dead father. In her pursuit of getting the letter, Eurydice tripped from the stairs and died.  The story revolves around two choices: to return to Earth with her husband or stay with her father who is in the underworld. Eurydice enters the land of the dead using an elevator which rains inside. She meets her father but forgets about him and her past. The dead are not allowed to speak in human language or remember their past life but her father successfully makes her remember everything despite the interference of the three stones: Little Stone, Big Stone, and Loud Stone. Overcome with grief, Orpheus writes a letter to Eurydice and her father delivers it to her. He sends another letter and travels to the underworld to find her and bring her back to life. Hades gave permission to Orpheus to bring Eurydice back to the surface of the Earth to enjoy the light of day. Eurydice must walk behind him as they ascend to the upper world, and Orpheus is forbidden from looking at her or else she dies. With the insistence of her father, Eurydice agreed to follow Orpheus. In the original myth-storyline, Orpheus gave in to his desires and looked back at his wife but in this version, Eurydice called Orpheus' attention and he looked back. This caused Eurydice to die for the second time. Eurydice came back for his father but she was too late. He decided to forget all his memory and language by dipping himself in the river.  Hades returns and orders Eurydice to be his wife but she declined. She instead wrote a letter addressed to Orpheus and his next wife. She decided to dip herself in the river just like her father so she can forget about everything. Orpheus dies, returns to the underworld and finds his wife's letter to him. Since Orpheus has been dipped in the river too, he is not able to read it.





Performance of each actor is noteworthy, however, the main characters were outstanding. Eurydice was played by Lhorvie Nuevo while Marco Viana played Orfeo. Comedic lines were delivered with perfect timing and their acting skills are exceptional. Personally, Hades was the most entertaining one. He gathered the most laughs due to his costume and funny lines.





Loy Arcenas, the director of Eurydice, has successfully assembled an awesome show with fluid scene changes. Each role is given importance.


Moreover, the effects of lighting has clearly provided drama to the scenes and emotions are expressed more vividly. Costumes are uniquely tailored, it perfectly suits each character group and everything complements each other.




Seeing this play is greatly recommended. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city living into a magical place in Manila, then come out and support these talented actors.




Eurydice will run at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) from February 17, 2017 until March 5, 2017, at the following times, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 3PM and 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM.


Tickets are at 1,500 and 1,000. Tickets for students are at a discounted price of 750 and 500. Subscriptions and group discounts are also available through Tanghalang Pilipino at +632-832-1125 locals 1620-21, 822.2920 (direct line) or through Ms. Lorelei Celestino at +63915-607-2275 or +63908-894-1384
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