Echo & Narcissus

after Ovid

Cast and Crew

Jonathan Heron
Ric Watts
Nomi Everall
Lighting Designer
Chris Price
Fiona Marr /
Lucinka Eisler /
Zoë Simon
Finnian O'Neill /
Antonio De Gregorio

About the production

[Echo & Narcissus] [Echo & Narcissus] [Echo & Narcissus] [Echo & Narcissus]

The aim was to devise a new piece of drama which would combine the techniques of Samuel Beckett's theatre, the adaptation of Ovid's Echo and Narcissus and our own company style.

The practical exploration of Samuel Beckett as a playwright and practitioner inspired the company to create explosive and expressive theatre following on from his remorseless quest into the human spirit. Furthermore, Beckett's fascination with the self, the other and desolation related directly to our source material. His drama advocates an exquisite minimalism that landscapes the internal world of his characters, staging their essence rather than their surface reality.

There is a wealth of material for a devising ensemble throughout Ovid's Metamorphosis, but Echo and Narcissus stood out due to its beautiful interplay of love and loss, death and desire, speech and silence. Nothing prepared us for quite how rich this material would prove to be. In initial exploration we used the text, in various translations, to explore its poetic, intellectual and contemporary resonances. Improvising, physicalising, vocalizing and analyzing, we generated a wealth of ideas and images. It became rather amazing just how related the text was to Beckett's preoccupations, such as: fragmented selves, dislocated voices, physical change, narcissism, echoing, internal monologues and static states.

Most of the groundwork having been done, we created the show, beginning to flesh out a new world where our Echo and Narcissus was taking place. In a disused and flooded office space, Narcissus records fragments of speech in search of his own story. The cursed Echo arrives to help, falls in love with him and is eventually rejected. A desolate Echo remains with him in a ghost-like state as Narcissus pieces together his story. He then comes face to face with himself, falling hopelessly in love.

"Rigorously directed... it is challenging, gripping, creative and the acting is assured." The Stage;

"A short visually arresting piece that'll have you scurrying back to your Ovid." Time Out;

"One of the most engaging and inventive pieces of theatre I have seen all year." Talking Broadway.

To read reviews of this production, click here