Taking the lead in Exchange Theatre’s thrilling political adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic The Flies is French actress Meena Rayann (Game of Thrones, HBO; Hilda, Odds On Productions 2019; multi-award winning No Love Lost, Intelligent Ink Films) as the downtrodden Electra and in his professional debut Samy Elkhatib will appear as vengeful brother Orestes.
Exchange Theatre co-founders, Mauritius-born French actor, David Furlong (Offie-nominated productions of The Doctor in Spite of Himself and The Misanthrope, Exchange Theatre) will play the tyrannical Aegisthus and Fanny Dulin, originally from Bordeaux, (The Misanthrope, Exchange Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Mystery Plays) will perform both as the traitorous mother Clytemnestra and as a fate-led Fury.
Also taking to the stage are Mozambique-born Swiss actor Raul Fernandes (Dangerous Liaisons; Don Juan; Quartier des Banques, RTS) as the God of Flies, Belgian Juliet Dante (award-winning St Joan, Julia Pascal; The Dybbuk, Off-Broadway) as The Tutor, with Paris-born Jonathan Brandt(Much Ado About Nothing and Neil Gwyn, Tower Theatre Company; The Learned Ladies, Exchange Theatre) as The Anonymous. Completing the Greek chorus as The Woman/Fury is Soraya Spiers(Thursday, Southwark Playhouse; The Penelopiad, Jackson’s Lane Theatre; critically-acclaimed Made Up, Arts Theatre) and Chris Runciman (NewsRevue, Canal Café Theatre; Broke Britannia, Bridewell Theatre; Gaga V. Assange, Adelaide Fringe) as the High Priest/Fury.
Exchange Theatre pride themselves in their multi-cultural heritage and are excited to have a diverse and international cast for The Flies. This topical re-telling of the Oresteian Greek tragedy comes at a turbulent political time which questions belonging and identity, and makes this truly global production all the more poignant.
The play will be performed in alternating French and English, and all the cast members are bi-lingual. Electra, Orestes, and their troubled family will be joined on stage by a live band to transform this tragedy into a modern, tense and thrilling rock opera.
Artistic Director David Furlong comments, Some of the most interesting challenges have been raised in this casting process: how do we represent diversity, gender-parity, equity, and disability on stage? All of these questions, in keeping with the current public debates, are part of our responsibility. We’re also incredibly proud to be joined by amazing talents and recognisable faces. The diversity, high profiles and quality of the fully bilingual cast we’ve assembled this year is a testimony to Exchange Theatre establishing itself as a meaningful player.
Exchange Theatre’s The Flies is running at The Bunker Tuesday 11 June – Saturday 6 July 2019.