682. Achilles – Barry Purves

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SUMMARY: A retelling of the story of Achilles, Patroclus and their love for each other.

WHY IT’S HERE: Barry Purves’s ‘Achilles’ approaches its subject matter from several interesting angles. It recasts the Greek myth as a story of homosexual love between Achilles and Patroclus, an angle that Purves teases out extremely convincingly. Even more unusually, Purves has chosen to stage the story as if it were being performed as ancient Greek theatre, with a dark, artificial set and symbolic masks and props. It works wonderfully, especially under the commanding presence of Derek Jacobi’s superb narration. ‘Achilles’ is more confirmation of Purves’s love and understanding of theatre, following his Shakespeare animation ‘Next’, his Kabuki short ‘Screen Play’ and his contribution of an animated ‘Rigoletto’ to the TV series ‘Operavox’.

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