"I rather hope I’m not the only one who noticed the pleasing aptness of the fact that Codpiece’s latest offering, Ted Hughes’ Ovid, is a play, adapted from Hughes’ poetry, adapted from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In fact, the text itself appears to have gone through almost as many transformations as the characters it depicts.
"Weaving the domestic and the fantastical to tell the story of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath’s relationship through the medium of classical mythology seems, if you’ll pardon the phrase, a somewhat epic task, but one that was executed with style and aplomb by both cast and crew.
"Despite not having an Arts Centre budget (which would have been well and truly deserved), the technical effects were sophisticated and well executed, but the real strength of this play does not stem from any technical wizardry, but from the cohesion and strong performances from the cast. I was happy to see that Katy Whitehead, the director, had decided to take a risk, and cast a profusion of fresh faces rather than stick with all the old ones, and I was even more delighted to find that there was not a weak link among them. Ovid seems very much an ensemble piece: being made of so many short tales linked together, the play could easily have descended into a rather bitty affair, but this was very much an ensemble production, and the cast managed to successfully weave all the strands into one cohesive whole. As a result I find it difficult to single out any one member of the cast for praise or blame, with the possible exception of James Marvin, whose performance as Ted Hughes/ Jupiter was powerful, intense and hopefully a good indication of things to come.
"No production is ever flawless, though I think I can say with some certainty that any flaws Ovid exhibited were inconsequential – misbehaving bed-sheets and the like. The energy and effort put into every scene made this a fantastic production, and if you missed it, you should be kicking yourself."