One of our favourite productions from last year’s all too brief visit to Edinburgh was Aulos Productions’ First Class, and on the strength of that show I was happy to book for this year’s Aulos offering, Women of the Mourning Fields. From the promotional blurb: “Slandered by history. Forgotten as women. Rome’s final curtain has fallen, yet three women still linger in the wings. Tainted by Emperor Nero’s legacy, Agrippina fights against the injustice of history. Forced onto the stage with Octavia and Poppaea, another unwelcome performance is imminent… But scripts can always be rewritten. From the writer of First Class (Best New Writing, Buxton Fringe 2014) comes a tale of intrigue, desire and ambition. What happens when you pry the real people from between the pages of history? What happens when the story of these women is finally told?”
To be honest, I don’t think I would have chosen this play were it not for the brilliance of First Class last year, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and I’m delighted to see that this play has also been nominated for an award at the Buxton Fringe. I’ve read a review that suggests the play might be hard to follow if you don’t have a good knowledge of the history of Rome… that slightly worries me. Still, I’m sure we’ll be fully alert for the challenge when we see this on Monday 17th August in the morning at 10:30 at the Paradise at the Vault. Please check back shortly after half-past eleven when I will be able to give our instant reactions to the play. And you will also find the preview for our next show.
What a fascinating and intricate play! Ideally you’d see it at least a couple of times to understand fully all its ins and outs, but it really holds your interest and asks loads of questions about rewriting history and the creative experience. And there are seven fantastic actors’ performances to appreciate! Highly recommended.