Part I ended with a call to war and part II started with a battle cry...
From the minute we re-enter the theatre space the pace picks up, we stand expectant of action and rhythmic music surrounds us as the space fills with people. The generals of war take the stage and give us great polemics of bravery and honour, 1000s of men invited to shed their blood in the name of a cause.. And that name is Helen.
We get to meet her and hear her painful, angry, proud story in a quiet but impassioned interval amongst the masculine sweat and violence. We also start to see more and more that for the gods this is all a game and to satisfy them, blood is not enough, cities must burn.
The human dialogues have taken an interesting turn away from the simply heroic and taken on a more reasoned flavour. The power lords and kings have seen a way through the massive bloodletting - or so they think - and struck a pact. The husband that was, and the husband that stole, are to fight for the death, simultaneously facing the cause and resolving the outcome that the long war has not delivered. Where will the famed beauty of Helen shine her light? - back home or here in Troy.
The theatre has become a battlefield courtroom almost, the audience have been plucked from their chairs and displaced into the middle of the drama.
So now a fresh dawn and fresh sacrifices, two lambs one black for Greece and one white for Troy are invoked and slain, the drums roll and the dual begins. We are told all of this by our heroic cast, one minute kings and another handmaids, it becomes easy to forget that this is storytelling and the action is in our minds.
Relentlessly on in behind and around us the soldier-crew continue with their shifting and building of structures, the apparatus of war emerges. we see the gods wicked bloodlust, they are angry at too reasonable a solution, furious they manipulate and intervene, a strange invoking of their power from their disembodied heads on screens they seem to have entered amongst us. An arrow flies, a huge sky drum of thunder rolls, then all hell breaks loose. Pacts of honour have been broken, and battle explodes. The cast all but disappear, their voices drowned out as the set is torn up and actually thrown, fast, noisily, violently into great piles like bodies on a battlefield.
Wow. We all leave the theatre exhausted, exhilarated. And we're only halfway.