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Director ‘leans into discomfort’ for Britten’s challenging The Rape of Lucretia

Thu 21 June 2018

Rome, 510 BC. At a military camp outside the city, the Etruscan prince Tarquinius Sextus hatches a plan where virtue and violence collide. What unfolds will destroy Lucretia, bring about the end of Etruscan rule, and lead to the rise of the Roman Republic.

From 6-8 July Trinity Laban presents Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, directed by Laura Attridge – a poetic and gritty production which merges classical references with modern feminist debate, engaging directly with contemporary dialogue surrounding sexual assault and abuse of power.

Performed by Trinity Laban Opera, this work of psychological force and power promises to be an intense and rewarding experience, and an opportunity to hear young talent at the start of their careers.

Written in 1946, Britten coined the term ‘chamber opera’ to describe his beautiful, problematic, intimate and compelling masterpiece.

This year’s opera moves to Stratford Circus during the closure of Blackheath Halls for refurbishment.

The creative team includes Jonathan Tilbrook as Musical Director and designer Lizzie Leach. Trinity Laban student Rachel Maby has been cast as Lucretia, with Michael Lafferty-Smith as Tarquinius.

Director Laura Attridge is a dynamic young maker of theatre and opera, a poet, and singer. Her opera direction to date includes The Enchanted Pig for Hampstead Garden Opera and two France/UK tours for Opera Loki (Così fan tutte, and La bohème). She was Staff Director for La Traviata (dir. Tom Cairns) at Glyndebourne in 2017, and this year returns as Assistant Director for Glyndebourne’s touring productions of La Traviata and Behind The Curtain

Laura says: “Approaching such a complex and problematic piece is an exciting challenge: as a director, my instinct with discomfort is always to lean into it. What I hope will result is a production that is provocative, yes, but draws all of its provocation from what is there already in the text and music, highlighting all of the different textures offered by Britten and his librettist, Ronald Duncan.

“Using a concept and design which explore the patriarchal institutions within which the two layers of action take place, my team and I will be engaging with numerous contemporary dialogues that have their roots in antiquity.”


Book tickets at

Fri 6 July 7.30pm

Sat 7 July 2.30pm (cover cast) and 7.30pm

Sun 8 July 3pm

£15 / £12 concessions

Saturday matinee is a cover cast performance: £10 / £8

Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15 1BX