A Medea-like woman kills her two babies and is raped by her husband in response. Out of this latter act, two boys are born to replace the lost sons. What follows is an unravelling of these events as Dea (the man is called Johnson, sounds a bit like Jason) returns 18 years later to the scene of her crime.
Adam Spreadbury-Maherís production captures something of the extreme agitation of the scenario but veers too much towards naturalism. These are huge and abstract emotions, on a par with those for the Greek prototypes, and some stylisation would better serve the text. I was tempted to think that a little bit of Katie Mitchell wouldnít go amiss.
Stephen Billington is pent up with a twisted tension from the off as the officer husband and Helen Bangís wrung-out Dea exudes ambiguous sympathy, while Timothy OíHaraís son is caught like bewildered prey in the glare of his parentís misdeeds.
Thereís enough in this short play to make the following sections worth waiting for and the hope that it has a life beyond this short fringe run.
The culmination of the season is Red, Black and Ignorant from the 1984 trilogy The War Plays. One of the many strengths of this mini-festival has been the chance to witness something of Bondís enormous range and, while it has a certain amount in common with the recently-performed The Under Room, this 65 minutes of elusiveness takes us in yet another new direction.
Itís no discredit to director Maja Milatovic-Ovadia and her hard-working cast (Andrew Lewis, Russell Anthony, Melanie Ramsay, Martha Dancy and Alex Farrow) that they donít quite pin down the style of the piece.
It needs to be more stylised, more naturalistic, more didactic and more poetic than they achieve, and at the same time less of each. Itís difficult to even begin dissecting this hydra, as slippery as an eel and indefinable as a phantom.
Much of the time it resembles a Brechtian parable (thereís even a scene where a young man re-constructs himself like Brechtís Galy Gay as a fighting man, against a chorus of ďI am the ArmyĒ) but thereís also Greek theatre thrown in, 1970s style agit-prop and a frustratingly intangible futuristic angle.
In some future dystopia where babies are bought and sold and innocents wiped out at the whim of the ruling army, an unborn, bomb-blackened ďmonsterĒ narrates the story of his life-that-never-was in episodic blocks.
Itís unfortunate that in seeking to capture something of this world, the design of sloping grey walls (Julia Berndt) looks a little too like something from Blakeís Seven, another aspect of the production overshooting Bondís constantly-moving target.
The strongest contributions may have been earlier in the series but cumulatively this Bond season has amounted to one of Londonís theatre events of the year.
Read reviews of Olly's Prison and The Pope's Wedding
Read reviews of The Under Room and The Fool