Troilus and Cressida Love, loss and the Trojan War.

Troilus and Cressida

The Redgrave Theatre

Key Information
  • Dates Fri 04 Jun 2021 & Sat 05 Jun 2021
  • Location The Redgrave Theatre
  • Times

    19:30 and Sat matinee at 14:30

  • Running Time

    2 hr 50 mins (including 15 min interval)

Love, loss and the Trojan War

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Gemma Fairlie
Set Design by Eliza Podesta
Costume Design by Tish Mantripp

All’s fair in love and war? Not according to Shakespeare. Troilus and Cressida is his critique of both – proving that fighting for honour is never really that honourable, and hearts can be turned despite all protestations.

Part comedy, part tragedy, part satire, part history – the play defies binary categorisation. Brimful of posturing and pouting, it’s an exploration of gender stereotypes and how dangerous they are for all of us, both in the past and the present.

The production will explore the swagger of ego, and the danger of infatuation, in the setting of the fictional Ilium High School. Against the explosive backdrop of American football and teenage angst we’ll pit the Greeks against the Trojans to find out who plays fair and who is just a player. Will the star quarterback ever play again? Will the Prom turn out to be a disaster? And will Troilus find the true love he dreams about or is it all just teenage fantasy?

Age guidance 12+

Image by Craig Fuller Photography

Cast

Pandarus Mark Yeates
Cressida Margaret Fegan
Troilus Kossim Osseni
Achilles Olivia Brown
Alex/ Diomedes Kirstin Louie
Ajax Kelsey James
Paris Kat Cleave
Thersites/ Cassandra Gabriel Willem
Ulysses Katie Fanning
Agamemnon Erin McQueen
Nestor/ Priam Christopher Dalton
Hector Christina Rayner
Patroclus/ Helen/ Calchas Chase Studinski
Aeneas Aurora Kollerud Nossen

Creative Team

Director Gemma Fairlie
Assistant Directors Imy Wyatt Corner and Frazer Meakin
Set Design Eliza Podesta
Costume Design Talisha Mantripp
Lighting Designer
Mary Bennett
Sound Designer Rosie Maynard
Fight Director Jonathan Howell
Voice Coaches Carol Fairlamb and Stephanie Beltrain
Production Manager Ed Wilson
Assistant Production Manager Leila Glen
Production Supervisor Ruth Sidery
Stage Manger Frederick Macleod
Deputy Stage Manager Frances Ashton
Assistant Stage Managers Miranda Sellers, Elliot Paris Hamilton, Matthew Newcombe and Lydia Morgan
Production Electrician Alastair Barrows
Construction Manager Kirk Bishop
Prop Making Supervisor Holly Stevens
Costume Supervisor Jasmine Barron
Costume Makers Charlotte Weiss and Isabel Cope
Costume Assistants/Makers (and Dressers*) Angelica Robinson*, Charlotte Rowen, Laetitia Gorget*, Maisie Higgins, Ruby Nex, Ruth Ferns-Duncan, Saskia Bath* and Susannah Pearce*
Supervising Scenic Artist Gina Hammersley
Scenic Artists Leri Tecwyn and Rowan Batoctoy
Digital Coordinator and Editor Dave Taylor
Camera Operators Willow Digweed, Maisy Harbert, Chris Monks & Danni Davis
Vision Mixer Dan Knipe
Gallery Production Assistant Tabitha Dodds
Stream Sound Operator Rosie Maynard
Lighting Operator Adrianne Broadgate
Sound Operator Sophie Robinson
Covid Supervisors Beshlie Thorp and Alice Dillon

Set construction and prop making undertaken by first year Production Arts students. 

Special thanks

We’d like to extend our thanks to the following individuals and groups whose support of this production is much appreciated: Active Lifestyle Centres, Alyssa Van Delle, Arbor Ales, Bristol Blades, Chipping Sodbury School, Coldharbour Gallery, KP Badges and Trophies Ltd, OYO Flagship The Regency Hotel Bristol, Saresh Singh, Tiger Trophies, University of Bristol Hockey and Mixed Lacrosse Clubs, Jess & John Waring, Westberries Hockey Club. Special thanks to Sue Ellicott, John Mauchline, George Malin and all staff at the Redgrave Theatre who have worked with BOVTS to make this production possible.

Student painting a costume design of a sports mascot resembling a lion

Costume and Set Design

Tish Mantripp, Costume Designer, and Eliza Podesta, Set Designer, are graduating students from the Theatre School. Tish is completing the MA in Performance Design whilst Eliza is in her final year of the BA (Hons) in Production Arts. Here, they outline their vision for the production, and discuss how this has been realised for the stage.

Where did you start with the design for Troilus and Cressida?

Tish: The design process started with several conversations with the Director, Gemma Fairlie, drawing parallels between modern society and Shakespeare’s writing. We looked at how educational institutions are a way in which you can examine a larger society on a micro-level; it’s a place where both values and prejudices are learnt.

Eliza: There are lots of similarities between war and school, for instance, popularity, fights, drama and gossip. Through this, we were able to bring the world of Ilium High to life.

Tish: We decided to relocate this play between two warring American high school football teams. We saw a link between how American high schools glorify sport and athleticism and the way in which the Greeks and Trojans worshipped and adored their heroes and warriors during the Trojan War.

What have been the most challenging aspects of the design process?

Tish: It’s been challenging designing costumes for a play with such a vast cast of characters. Many of the actors have swapped gender to play their characters, which has been great fun. The team worked with drag kings and drag queens to help the actors get into the physicality of the characters, but the costume design will also have a crucial part to play in how these characters are brought to life.

Eliza: The most challenging part of the design process has been figuring out how to make so many different locations work on the stage. Through collaborations with all the different departments we have adapted the main high school gym to also work as a principal’s office, a house, a football field and many more.

What can the audience expect from your design?

Tish: The audience can expect a completely new, refreshing take on Shakespeare. The show is extremely physical – it fizzes and crackles with the charged energy of teen love, and then gallops along at quite a pace on the sports field – where the two warring factions meet.

Eliza: They can expect a colourful and modern adaptation of a classic Shakespeare play. They will be transported into another world of energy, passion and secrets!

Do you have a favourite aspect of the design?

Tish: A lot of the designs for this show bridge the gap between what is considered costume and what is considered a prop. This has become an exciting collaboration opportunity between production arts and costume students at BOVTS, working together to realise my designs. One costume I am particularly excited about is the Chimera – a mythical lion, goat and snake hybrid beast – which is the ‘Greek United’ football mascot worn by the character Thersites. Seeing it come to life over the last couple of weeks has been a real treat!

Minature set of lockers covered in paint

Production Photos by Craig Fuller

I’m constantly delighted by the talent, commitment and drive of our students. Their curiosity and joy in the work gives us all energy and keeps me on my toes! My goal is to ensure that their voices serve their acting - both in theatre and recorded media. They need to be able to project, learn accents, respond to a wide variety of texts and have a voice that is healthy and be able to sustain long tours and tough filming schedules. This involves them working extremely hard – but having fun as well. When the new students see the final year students in production for the first time I know they’ll come into class the next day fully understanding the high standard they’re working to achieve. Carol Fairlamb, Head of Voice