this play. Having spent the day thinking the show was at 7.30, only
to find out late in the afternoon that it was at 9.30, I frantically
hopped from cafe to pub forcing as much coffee into my body as was
physically possible. Having downed my last cappuccino I pottered
off to the Burton Taylor Theatre with eyes like saucers and a slight
caffeine twitch in my right arm, eager for the show to begin.
disappointed. The Burton Taylor is a small theatre with around 50
seats (that were nearly all taken). It has a very intimate atmosphere.
This environment lent itself well to the seven actors on stage,
all of whom brought something to their roles.
Botham and Ben Van Der Velde were both excellent as Socrates, and
paid tribute to the 'greater than the sum of its parts' theory.
Joseph Fenton as Crito looked and felt as close to how you imagine
an ancient Greek/Roman as possible (although I thought his Callicles
could have been a little more camp!!) and Amyas Merivale, the plays
adapter, played his trio of parts very well indeed.
far as the story goes I will give little away in saying that Socrates
dies after drinking Hemlock, having being accused of corrupting
the youth of Ancient Athens. He was taken to trial, found guilty
and put to death, much to the dismay of his friends who struggled
to understand his somewhat unchallenging acceptance of the matter.
play deals with his time before, during and after the trial and
explores Socrates ideologies and the theme that the true wise man
knows that he does not know.
complicated? Get to the BT for a good dose of culture and a journey
into the life (and death) of one of the modern world's most profound