As previously tipped (See The Goss, 21 Oct 2003), British screen actress Catherine McCormack (pictured) will take on the ancient classics this month, starring as Iphigenia in a new fringe production of Under the Curse, Goethe's version of Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris, re-set in Germany in 1787.

The production - which runs from runs 26 November to 13 December 2003 (previews 24 November) - concludes the "Under the Curse" season of three modern versions of the ancient myths of Antigone, Electra and Iphigenia at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, west London (See News, 16 Oct 2003).

Having escaped her father's attempt to sacrifice her to the gods, Iphigenia finds herself caught in a struggle compromising her personal integrity and freeing her family from a merciless curse that has pursued generations.

Under the Curse, translated by Dan Farrelly, is directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins and designed by Simon Daw and Angela Simpson. McCormack is joined in the cast by Aidan McCardle (A Prayer for Owen Meany) as Orestes, Peter Guinness as Thoas, Tom Smith as Pylades and Michael Thomas as Arkas.

McCormack is a familiar film face from her roles in the likes of Braveheart, Spy Game, This Year's Love, Land Girls, Born Romantic and The Tailor of Panama. Her recent stage appearances, all at the National Theatre, include Free, Honour and Moira Buffini's Dinner.

The last is about to reopen at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre but, because of her involvement in Under the Curse, McCormack opted out of the transfer (See News, 31 Oct 2003). The black comedy - which features Harriet Walter, Nicholas Farrell and Penny Downie along with new arrivals Paul Kaye, Flora Montgomery, Adrian Lukis and Paul Sirr - is now set to run from 9 December 2003 to 27 March 2004 (previews from 3 December).

- by Terri Paddock