The Seven Pomegranate Seeds review

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds review

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds review

A powerful take on Euripides’ tales. Susie Normann reviews

Complex, powerful and compelling, Colin Teevan’s The Seven Pomegranate Seeds brings together the women of Euripides’ plays and reimagines them as people of today. Niamh Cusack and Shannon Hayes are the only cast and they make their presence felt in every scene as they take on the characters of Persephone, Hypsipyle, Medea, Alcestis, Phaedra, Creusa and Demeter and go on a dark and uncomfortable journey of our modern world.

The topics span domestic violence, the refugee crisis, celebrity status, alcohol addiction, young pregnancies and a missing child. Clearly, it doesn’t make for easy viewing but in the hands of director Melly Still, it is handled skillfully and poignantly. There are humorous moments, too, that help to break the long periods of tension.

The sparse set (a handful of chairs, some tangled string) and the use of props worked well, creating impactful symbolism. After each character had told their story, a string holding a stone was cut, sending it clunking satisfyingly on to the stage.

How the names of each character were revealed was also impressive – such as on an apron, or chalked on to the floor. Not all the stories are well-known so it helped to make sense of a play that races along at quite a pace.

Niamh and Shannon move into vastly different characters with ease and draw you in with their storytelling. It is a shocking, sad and raw play but the audience does not leave in despair at the modern world but are given reason to hope.

  • The Seven Pomegranate Seeds at the Rose Theatre until 20 November

Image: Niamh Cusack & Shannon Hayes – photo by The Other Richard 

READ MORE: Niamh Cusack chats to us about her love for the Rose theatre, her life in Barnes, and how she prepares for a role.