Bertie Carvel on playing a Greek King – and his own mother

Published in Evening Standard on July 23, 2015

Bertie Carvel keeps finding himself torn — locked in a battle between the rational and the irrational. Currently, it’s because he’s in rehearsals for Bakkhai, a fresh, modern translation of Euripides’ tragedy by poet Anne Carson, part of the Almeida Theatre’s Greeks season. Carvel plays Pentheus, ruler of Thebes, who refuses to acknowledge the god Dionysos — played by Ben Whishaw — who has inspired the women of the city to go “off to have a rave on a mountain,” as Carvel puts it. Driven out of his wits by Dionysos, the uptight Pentheus goes spy on them, dressing up as a lady himself. But the god’s followers, the female Bakkhai, find him and literally tear him apart. Continue reading “Bertie Carvel on playing a Greek King – and his own mother”