The team at the Actors Workshop Theatre have done it once again with their production Mourning Becomes Electra. A tale that originated from an ancient Greek myth, the play is a combination of a dramatic soap opera and a murder mystery.
The story involves the main character Vinnie uncovering scandal after scandal about her family and using her wit to get revenge for her father’s death. The story is very gripping and intense, reeling in the audience within the first few minutes.
The set is the main door of the Mannon estate, which offers an eerie gothic and classy Victorian style, adding the immersion into the setting and atmosphere. The scene transitions are very smooth and the score was perfect at setting the tone. The costumes were beautifully crafted and the makeup was spot on.
Each of the characters gave an absolutely stellar performance. First, there’s Vinnie, our main protagonist who is fiercely independent while also being immensely protective of her family as she uses her intelligence to uncover the secrets of the murder of her father. There’s Vinnie’s mother Christine, who has such a dramatic flair and love for the aristocracy, making her a wonderful contrast from her daughter. Then there’s Brant and Orin, both of which present the perfect amount of harshness and sensitivity as is needed for their personas and finally there is Seth, who is sort of the sidekick to Vinnie and is a wonderful comic relief.
Of course, there are also the minor characters, like Peter, Hazel and the servants, who all bring their own sort of charm to the stage. Finally, as this is a play about violence and death, let us talk about the on-stage effects that are used during some of the deaths. The blood work is expertly done and is absolutely bone-chilling. But even more so, the scenes where there is only ever a thick tension in the air are almost more eerie as the audience waits in anticipation.
That being said, there is a little light in the story, with some comedic moments that while are quite funny, don’t take away from the overall tone of the story. If anything it’s more in the way of easing some tension before the next round of frights comes around. Overall, Mourning Becomes Electra is a very inventive play that is well directed, wonderfully cast and has a wonderful setting and tone. This play is absolutely… killer.