The first of my double bill of visits to the Camden Fridge yesterday was a curious retelling of the tale of Electra and Orestes, depicted in Truth After Murder as twins parted for many years after their mother, Clymenestra, killed their father, Agamemnon.
We’re in psychological territory here, with Orestes touting his book on the case, and Electra displaying just the kind of vacant staring daddy-worship that has led a complex to be named after her.
In various retellings and interpretations of the myth, Electra’s motivation for revenge has varied: here, she has been abandoned in an asylum for fifteen years for reasons which seem to come down to money. It’s sometime after an apocalyptic 4th World War and the internet has broken down.
In an intense hour in which the two actors really do get as close to the front rows of the audience as possible, they draw us into their nightmare and bizarre relationship. Orestes with memories of abuse of all kinds, fixated sexually on both his mother and a voice on the other end of his mobile phone, at first seems to be on his sister’s side, but things change.
Powerful performances from Riccardo Carollo and Mariana Elicetche mitigate what is ultimately a confused piece by Arif Alfaraz (who also directs). I found myself curiously detached from this pair who remain locked in their own hell, he with his gay porn magazines, she with her child’s tea set and memories of dear dead dad.
Truth After Murder runs at the Etcetera Theatre until 25 August.