Hell is Other People: A Review of ‘Eurydice’
Stanford Theater Lab Presents “Eurydice”

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This is a play about Hell. And love. And memory. And language. It is not comfortable. It is frequently uncomfortable. It’s self-conscious, and sometimes subversive, and sometimes absurd. You should go see it.

It’s being put on in tiny Prosser Studio, in the back of Memorial Auditorium. There’s seating for maybe fifty people at most. It should make the play feel intimate, but the closeness only makes the small unsettling details stick out more. Though the play begins with the lovers Orpheus and Eurydice frolicking happily, it’s clear from the beginning that there’s an unspoken fault. Neither seems to be able to communicate with the other well. They’re self-conscious. It sets up themes for the rest of the play; Eurydice’s journey is a tragedy of failed communications. Poetic language and metaphors hide the fact that each character seems isolated from the others, and nobody seems capable of even trying to get what they want.

Though everyone in the small cast delivers wonderful performances, Tim Borgerson (‘14) steals the show as Eurydice’s father. He’s a busted chiffarobe away from Atticus Finch, and the earnestness he brings is maybe the only spot of decency in the whole sad mess. Lucie Fleming (‘17), as Eurydice, is brilliant, and I was amazed that she’s a freshman. They’re supported by Orpheus (Patrick O’Hare, ‘17) and the Lord of the Underworld (Andre Amarotico, ‘16), who have wonderful performances as flawed characters, and the chorus of stones (Noemi Berkowitz, ‘16; Vanessa Moody, ‘14; and frequent StAR contributor Alexandra Gray, ‘16) who, instead of representing rationality as would be expected from a chorus, spur the hostility and cruelty the play creates for itself. The cast works under the direction of Allison Gold (‘15) who has done a fine job in creating the emotions the play is set to evoke with more than just the dialogue.

This isn’t like My Fair Lady. It will be harder to watch and very serious, despite moments of surrealist levity. But if a well-executed, existentialist, subversive send-up of a traditional Greek myth sounds like something that will strike your fancy, Eurydice is a good way to spend your Valentine’s Day.

Eurydice opens tonight and runs through Saturday evening.  For tickets and more info, click here.

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