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  Hecuba at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Hecuba

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

Written by Euripides (480-406 B.C.) throughout one of the most devastating wars in Greek history, Hecuba was a controversial play from its inception. More than two thousand years later, one of Ireland's great contemporary playwrights, Frank McGuinness, explores the tragedy beyond war's end with his adaptation of this disturbing, heart wrenching story.

Thru - Jun 18, 2006



Price: $36-$42

Show Type: Drama

Running Time: 1hr 20mins; no intermission

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  Hecuba Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"...Lean, sparse, colloquial and dazzlingly blunt, Frank McGuinness' masterful new adaptation of Euripides' "Hecuba" offers no sweet sanctuary in the lyrical. McGuinness merely channels the play's guttural ideas from the classical era to our own strikingly similar time of strife and self-obsession which every day cries louder for a Euripides to call its own."

Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Working with the blistering, often acerbic, always accessible adaptation created by McGuinness, director Patrick Mason (former artistic director of Dublin's Abbey Theatre) has crafted a production that reflects the play's strong, searing, clear-cut language. And Michael Philippi's spare, global village set, along with Lindsay Jones' haunting soundscape, add to the eerie devastation."

Hedy Weiss


SouthtownStar - Recommended

"...Under Patrick Mason's splendid direction (Mason was artistic director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland), it's an exceptional production in its world premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater."

Betty Mohr


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...McGuinness's Hecuba is transcendent in its stark nihilism yet studded with well-placed contemporary locutions, as when one of the women in the chorus contemptuously refers to "kiss-ass Odysseus." With painful acumen, Patrick Mason's U.S.-premiere staging captures the numbed, blighted atmosphere of a postwar world."

Kerry Reid


Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...In many respects this Hecuba is admirable, but the color bloc passions are missing. In the title role, Marsha Mason offers commitment and clear intellectual understanding, but she internalizes the remarkable emotional path Hecuba takes. The audience sees and hears little difference between Masonís grief-stricken reaction to her daughterís fate and her determined anger at her sonís murderer. But we cannot fully appreciate Hecubaís steely and vengeful resolve unless her grief and anger first have been made visible and towering. Running just 80 minutes, there isnít time for a subtle, naturalistic journey; this play needs raw power."
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Jonathan Abarbanel


Time Out Chicago - Not Recommended

"...For Euripidesí tale about violence begetting violence, the director and actors have shown up for work but left their hearts and heads in bed. They punch the clock with an outward show of empty histrionics yet without the coursing blood that marks Greek tragedyís exponentially heightened emotion."

Novid Parsi


Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Golden Globe Award winner and Oscar nominee Marsha Mason, best known for such Neil Simon comedies as "The Goodbye Girl" and "Chapter Two," may have initially seemed a strange choice, but she proves a credible and authoritative interpreter of the demanding title role. The husky voiced Mason easily wins our sympathy as she paints a harrowing and universal portrait of a mother's inconsolable grief."

Joe Stead



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