“And yet now I think on’t, if I am I (as I am I), he cannot be I.”
A beautiful woman, Alcmena, is the object of the God Jupiter’s desire. To seduce her, he assumes the body of her husband Amphitryon, before his return from battle. As comic and perturbing confusions ensue, the mortals are forced to face the terrifying prospect that they are no longer the only versions of themselves. How long before Jupiter’s ruse is discovered? What will the consequences be for the humans he deceives?
John Dryden’s comic reinvention of this classical myth is being pushed to the limit in Michael Cordner’s technically daring production, with a team of TFTV staff and students.
Michael Cordner is Ken Dixon Professor of Drama and one of the co-founders of the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television, where he was its first Head of Theatre. His main research and teaching interests lie in English drama 1580-1737, theatre, film and television comedy, and the development of the theatre in the UK in the second half of the 20th century until today.
All his current work relates to the interaction between scripts and performance and, therefore, seeks to explore performance traditions, historical circumstances, performer training, company identities, and reception circumstances, as well as the words committed to the page by individual dramatists. In his view, study of the masterpieces of 17th-century theatre is meaningless unless influenced by practical experience of the plays in rehearsal and performance. Hence, his productions of comedies by Middleton, Marston, Vanbrugh, Shirley, and now, Dryden, in the Department over the last few years.
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Tickets: available online