Elisabet Casanovas gives an impressive yet exhausting performance as Kassandra. This excessively didactic play by Sergio Blanco is based on the figure of Greek tragedy who was cursed with the power of prophecy yet further cursed to never be believed.
This familiar part of the tale was dropped in near the end with a tarot card reading, the rest was a shock-peppered spectacle; the horrors of war, gender politics and violence, incestuous and extramarital sex, embellished an extensive personal account of the life and times of the protagonist, featuring a lengthy cast of complicated Greek names. Delivered in its entirety in broken English, I’m not sure the Catalan public understood it – because I certainly didn’t. “Homework!” as Kassandra would have cried.
And this was probably the point: aside from the interest in the character herself, an outrageous outsider that seemed to tick all the archetypal boxes on what it was to be transgressive, this game of deliberate alienation was won from the outset. Persistently challenged, we gave up, watching apathetically a car crash in action; laughing at inappropriate places, feeling helpless yet numb and keen to escape. As a “portrait of the modern migrant” – tragedy reigned.
Kassandra – directed by Sergi Belbel
Teatre Nacional de Catalunya – Sala Tallers
until 18th November