There must be something in the air, because it seems like half the theaters in town have booked a play for September that recreates a classic work. Well, three anyway. Convergence-continuum opened Shakespeare’s R&J, a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in a boy’s boarding school, last week. Stupid F**king Bird, which just opened at Dobama, turns Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull on its head.
And now, here comes Ensemble Theatre with the Cleveland premiere of By the Bog of Cats, somewhat based on Euripides’ Medea. Marina Carr’s play, which debuted at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 1998, is set in contemporary rural Ireland. It revolves around Hester Swane, a member of the itinerant and often feared Irish Travellers (similar to gypsies), as the Medea figure. Featuring similar themes of betrayal, rage, jealousy and revenge, it’s drenched in supernatural elements with ghostly characters part of the proceedings. And the outcome is no happier.
The ensemble production should be outstanding, as it features one of the area’s most celebrated actresses, Derdriu Ring as Hester. It’s directed by Ensemble’s artistic director Celeste Cosentino.
It runs Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm and Sundays @ 2 pm through Sun 9/29. Tickets are $12-$29.