Young Company Makes West End DebutDate: 21 June 1999
One of the youngest companies ever to produce work in the West End will have its debut at the Whitehall Theatre next month with a production of Jean Anouilh s Eurydice. The 1941 French drama, care of the Straydogs company, will open 12 July (previews from 8 July). It is hosted by Dominic Dromgoole s Oxford Stage Company which is currently resident at the theatre.
Straydogs was founded last year by 23-year-old director Simon Godwin and producer Emma Stenning, who is also just 23. They mounted their production of Eurydice at the fringe Battersea Arts Centre last November to critical acclaim.
Based on the Greek myth, Anouilh's reworking was written during the World War II occupation of France and is set in the 1930s. Orpheus, a young penniless musician, and Eurydice, an actress with a travelling theatre, meet in a railway station buffet, fall in love and leave everything behind to start a new life together. But they soon fall under the spell of the mysterious Monsieur Henri. When Eurydice is killed in an accident, Henri gives Orpheus a chance to bring his lover back to life - on the condition that he does not look her in the eye until the break of dawn. It's a temptation he can't resist.
Eurydice is translated by Peter Meyer, directed by Simon Godwin and designed by Agnes Treplin.
The Oxford Stage Company production of Chekhov's Three Sisters, currently at the Whitehall, finishes its run on 3 July. Eurydice will be followed in the autumn by the Oxford Stage's revival of John Whiting s A Penny For a Song.