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Orpheus descending, Williams

Омский академический театр драмы, Omsk, Russia

„What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?”

"I guess my heart knew that somebody must be coming to take me out of this hell! You did." Lady Torrance reveals to her employee Val in Tennessee Williams' Orpheus descending. In his emotional drama about a wild, nonconformist maverick and the wife of a shopkeeper the author places the ancient Greek myth of the singer-hero Orpheus into a small remote town in the South of the United States. Here is the Hades into which Williams' Orpheus has to descend to bring his Eurydice back to life.

In spite of his promising name Valentine Xavier is not aware of his role as a rescuer, also he refuses to accept it. Rather, it is Lady Torrance, who more and more sees in him the only way out of her doomed existence, and therefore clings to him - until her love becomes the snare, with which she drags the two of them down into the abyss.


Williams portraits a xenophobic society ruled by dullness, brutality and hopelessness. The inhabitants of this world firmly are determined by their own hatred, their desires for satisfaction and revenge, keeping them back from moving on forward into a better life. How to think about future, if we're not through with the past? Williams' hell is a place, that easily could be escaped, if only one could find a way to overcome their own hatred, with which they seem to be eternally chained to this place of their own missery.


''I have only one major theme for all my work which is the destructive impact of society on the sensitive, nonconformist individual.'' – in his drama "Orpheus descending", which had its opening on Broadway in 1957, Tennessee Williams examines the origins of an evilness, that erodes society from within, and asks if there ever can be a way back into the paradise of our innocence.


starring: Ekaterina Potapova, Ivan Malenkikh, Yegor Ulanov, Alexander Goncharuk, Olga Soldatova, Yulia Posheljuzhnaya, Larisa Svirkova, Tatyana Prokopyeva, Igor Faust

director: Andreas Merz Raykov

stage design: Femistokl Atmadzas
costume design: Olga Atmadzas
translation: Ekaterina Raykova-Merz

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