Eurydice opens at the Bauer Theatre

Geordie Hemlow and Emma Vickers as Orpheus and Eurydice. Photo: Peter Murphy

Geordie Hemlow and Emma Vickers as Orpheus and Eurydice. Photo: Peter Murphy

Eurydice, a comedic tragedy presented by Theatre Antigonish, is a tale of love, grief, and memory. Based on the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus, the play is told from the perspective of Orpheus’s deceased wife, Eurydice, as she learns to cope with her own death and reconnect with her father in the underworld.

I sat down with the cast of Eurydice to talk about the play, which opens Wednesday, March 8. The cast has been meeting regularly since the end of January, taking careful time to learn and connect with the script. “I really enjoyed the time just working with the script,” says Ken Kingston, who plays Eurydice’s unnamed Father.

Over the course of January and February, the cast have really gotten to know each other. Emma Vickers and Geordie Hemlow, who play Eurydice and Orpheus, respectively, didn’t know each other at all before the production began, but now perform like long time lovers.

The Chorus of Stones, played by Devon Walker, Noella Murphy, and Rosemary Curry have gotten very close, as Walker explains that they spend much of the play laying on top of one another.

When asked why she chose this play, Director Andrea Boyd says, “I have loved this play for a long time… Ruhl’s concept of the theatre is quirky and poetic.” For example, the play is set between the world of the living and underworld in an ambiguous 20th century. The unclear time period is more symbolic than literal, explains Boyd; the costumes are set in certain time periods because of the reminiscence of those time periods.

Eurydice is tragic in that it quite literally deals with death and Orpheus’s failed attempt to rescue Eurydice from the underworlds. It addresses the grief that comes with losing a loved one and the various forms grief can take.

Hemlow, Vickers, and Kingston. Photo: Peter Murphy

Hemlow, Vickers, and Kingston. Photo: Peter Murphy

However, the play is also very surprising and funny at times, the cast explains, as it talks about some of the less sad forms of grief. Noella Murphy, the Little Stone, says, “Grief is a lot of different emotions,” and the play does a good job of addressing them. There are even some playful moments in this tale of death.

Ken Kingston says, “The father in me would love this play, if I weren’t in it.” The cast all agreed this play would be a touching tale for anyone who has ever dealt with the loss of a loved one. The play features original music by Ryan Billington, who also plays the role of The Lord of the Underworld.

Eurydice runs from March 8-11, and will have a pay-what-you-can preview on Tuesday, March 7. There will be an opening night celebration before the show on Wednesday, March 8, and a public matinee Saturday, March 11 at 2pm. All other performances begin at 7:30pm. If you identify as a newcomer to the Antigonish area, or even to Canada, you are welcome to see the show for only $6.