Vengeful family at war on St Albans theatre stage

Company of Ten's production of Electra. Picture: Nick Clarke / Abbey Theatre.

Company of Ten's production of Electra. Picture: Nick Clarke / Abbey Theatre. - Credit: Archant

An electrifying story of bloody revenge is coming to the stage in St Albans.

An unforgiving heart can result in a great deal of murder, mayhem and madness, as the characters in Sophocles’ towering play Electra soon discover.

Coming to the Abbey Theatre under the auspices of the Company of Ten, this highly accessible version of the Greek tragedy promises an evening of intense drama and moral conflict when motives are questionable and outcomes uncertain.

The play opens as Orestes returns from exile.

He plans to lure his family out of the palace by pretending to bring the urn containing his own ashes following a fatal chariot race, and then confront them about his father’s murder.

His sister Electra, already crazed with grief, is devastated to learn of her brother’s supposed death and so the stage is set for revelations and retribution.

“Electra was written two and a half thousand years ago, but its themes of revenge, justice and expediency echo loudly even in today’s newscasts,” said Roger Scales, who directs the CoT production which opens on Friday.

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“What is exciting about this important play isn’t just the portrayal of vengeance as a tool of justice, but the effects of vengefulness on the perpetrators themselves.

“Is revenge ever a triumph of justice, asks Sophocles, or a predictor of downfall?”

Performances take place in the Abbey Theatre Studio from Friday, November 9 to Saturday, November 10 at 8pm, and on Sunday, November 11 at 2.30pm.

The run continues from Tuesday, November 13 to Saturday, November 17 at 8pm.

• To book tickets go to or call the box office on 01727 857861.