A Greek tragedy is not usually the most popular genre audiences will line up to see at Toronto Fringe -- this is precisely what I was thinking as audience members slowly trickled into Elektra on opening night.
Set intimately, in the round at Artscape Youngplace, the seating was fairly limited, however, by the time the show began, it was still far from being at full capacity.
And it’s a shame, really, because the show is absolutely riveting.
For those unfamiliar, here is the quick plot recap: King Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, for sacrificing his youngest daughter, Iphigenia. Elektra, who constantly refers to herself as her "father's daughter," is determined to avenge her father's death to restore order to the House of Atreus.
Alice Lundy plays a convincing Elektra, guiding us through her story in the most haunting fashion, staring each of us straight in the eyes as she delivers her lines in a way that feels like she is piercing our souls.
Daniela Piccinin is a spot-on Clytemnestra, sensual and selfish, until her final moments when we see her extreme desperation as she clings to her life.
Together, these two actors tear up the space, creating a powerful and violent, push-and-pull atmosphere, and the audience is right up close and personal, getting in on the action.
Orestes (Erik Helle) arrives towards the end of the show for the blood bath and we see how layered his character is – determined to do what is right, yet fearing what will become of him, due to his actions.
Helle and Lundy have a shudder-inducing dynamic as the all-too-close brother-sister murderous duo.
It’s all blood and guts every evening at Artscape Youngplace this week– and you shouldn’t miss your opportunity to see these talented actors kill it on stage.
Elektra by Sophocles (adapted by John Barton and Kenneth Cavander) plays at Artscape Youngplace, as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, until July 9. For more information, visit http://fringetoronto.com/.