In Chris Hannan’s adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel, Russia is a bleak place full of desperation and hardship. The people struggle to find meaning in political debates and philosophical theories about humanity. Raskolnikov is a wayward law student who commits murder to unburden himself from shame but who is unable to justify his actions in his own paranoia.
Troilus & Cressida is one of Shakespeare’s infrequently performed plays, most likely due to the ambiguous characterisation and plot. Set in the final years of the Trojan War, the play is largely a satire of the great legends from the Odyssey including Ulysses, Agamemnon, and Hector. Coincidentally, there’s the added interest of the love story between Cressida, Calchas’s daughter, and Troilus, son of Priam and Prince of Troy. Secret House’s most recent revival of the play argues for its contemporary relevance with questions of identity, love, and war.