With less than a week to go before 'Iphigenia in Tauris', I thought I would expunge a little on the experience of working on this project and with a Goethe text in general.
First of all, the cast have been really great to work along side. We have all come up against the same issues with the text, but more on that in a moment. What has been wonderful is the way in which each cast member has brought a very different style to the show. As with any German Classic, 'Iphigenia' is very wordy and expositional; meaning that the play rests on the shoulders of extravagant and contrasting characters. Not that anyone is being indulgent, but each of us brings a different physical and aural quality to the play that lifts the language away from the formality in which it is written.
The poetry of this play is exceptional. Whether it's the divine and violent imagery of Gods and Furies, or the torment and joy of The Lost, Goethe paints the most satisfying pictures from start to finish. Of course, I have only read the translation so I can only imagine what Goethe's Original must've been like by comparison. Because the poetry is so lavish, the real obstacle for all of us has been tenderising the form into something that seems organic; as someone might do with the more poetic moments in Shakeapeare - only there is no respite from it in Goethe. Obviously, the play is still poetic and luxuriant, as it should be, but you will have to judge for yourself how far we have succeeded in striking the balance.
There are cool swords in it too...
'Iphigenia in Tauris' runs from the 16th June til the 4th July @ The Rose Playhouse on Bankside.