January 5 – 17, 1999

Production Language English
Country of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description From the celebrated Almeida Theater, "London's hottest theater company" (Newsweek), come two unforgettable stagings of Racine's greatest tragedies, Phèdre and Britannicus, performed in repertory starring Diana Rigg and Toby Stephens. These productions "provide a rare, enthralling exposure to Jean Racine, greatest of the classic French dramatists, and a stage world of sexual obsession and frustrated desires" (Evening Standard). Rarely performed in English, both plays are directed by Jonathan Kent and boast powerful new translations.

Ted Hughes' visceral adaptation of Phèdre "moves this tremendous text into the vital context of a different culture" (London Times) and stands as the late poet's final work. The play throws an uncompromising light on human nature, exposing Phèdre's incestuous desire for her stepson Hippolytus (Stephens) and her catastrophic path to destruction. Rigg, whose last New York appearance was a 1994 Tony-winning turn in the title role of the Almeida's Medea, gives a raging performance as Phèdre, the doomed Queen of Athens. "Rigg presents the most daring and magnificent performance of her career. The hard and pitiless centrepiece of a hard and pitiless play" (London Times).

Identifier 1999s.00662
VenueBAM Strong (Majestic, BAM Majestic, BAM Harvey Theater, The Rudin Family Gallery)
adapterTed Hughes
lighting designerMark Henderson
musical directorJohnathan Dove
playwrightJean Racine
set designer/decorMaria Björnson
sound designerJohn A Leonard
video artistTony Palmer