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Oresteia: This Restless House

Citizens Theatre


Zinnie Harris’ compelling and thrilling drama about three women who are forced to confront the consequences of their acts of violence returns in 2017 to the Citizens Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival.

A father’s horrifying sacrifice of his daughter sets in motion a cycle of bloody revenge. Murder and madness ensue, testing the loyalties of his remaining children and propelling them to the edge of reason. With a powerful cast performing live music on stage, Oresteia is an exhilarating and contemporary take on an ancient Greek drama that has survived two and a half thousand years.

Premiered at the Citizens Theatre in 2016 as a trilogy of plays, and now presented as one epic theatrical event, Zinnie Harris’ trailblazing new work was nominated for ‘Best New Play’ at the UK Theatre Awards in 2016, and was awarded Best New Play and Best Director at the 2016 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Pauline Knowles was awarded Best Actress for her role as the vengeful Clytemnestra and leads a powerful cast.

This Restless House was originally commissioned and supported by National Theatre of Scotland.

Edinburgh International Festival

The Oresteia: This Restless House will run at Edinburgh International Festival from 22 Aug - 27 Aug for a limited run of six performances. Find out more at

Citizens Theatre in association with National Theatre of Scotland

Main Theatre

View seating plan

Recommended for 16+
Contains flashing lights, nudity, strong language, violence and potentially distressing scenes.

Previews 15 - 17 Aug
Audio Described 2 Sep, 2pm
Captioned 2 Sep, 2pm
Signed 27 Aug, 6pm
BSL Interpreted performance at Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

Wheelchair Access
Guide Dogs welcome
Induction Loop

Cast & Creative Team >

Creative Team

Writer - Zinnie Harris
Director - Dominic Hill
Designer - Colin Richmond
Lighting Designer - Ben Ormerod
Composer - Nikola Kodjabashia
Movement Director - EJ Boyle
Fight Director - EmmaClaire Brightlyn
Assistant Director - Jack Nurse


George Anton
Peter Collins    
George Costigan
Keith Fleming
Pauline Knowles
Lorn Macdonald
Olivia Morgan
John O’Mahony
Itxaso Moreno
Kirsty Stuart

2017 Review

“a thrilling howl of a play” The Herald

“The Edinburgh International Festival theatre programme thunders to a thrilling conclusion with this bloody and brilliant revival” The Scotsman

“an absolute treat”  WhatsOnStage 

“brilliantly savage”
Financial Times

“Clytemnestra becomes a complex and dominant figure, brilliantly played by Pauline Knowles.”
All Edinburgh Theatre


“Breathtaking…powerful…trailblazing” Scotsman 

“A production of depth, ambition and creepy power” The Guardian  ★★★★★

“most fearless of reinventions” The Herald 

“It would be a tragedy to miss it” Daily Record  ★★★★

“Hill directs with his typical intelligent inventiveness” Daily Telegraph  ★★★★

“Hugely powerful” Reviews Hub

“This cocktail of sex and politics is heady and intoxicating” The List 

“The play’s brilliant cast successfully brings the myth and its lead figures back from the dead in all their brutality, with monumental, thrilling results.” Plays To See

“a triumph” Glasgow Live

“a towering achievement of emotional intensity and theatrical ambition. The best new production this year.”


“plays in which you don’t just hurt someone, you gouge their eyes out”
Zinnie Harris speaks to Mark Brown of the Sunday Herald

“You can’t broach Aeschylus and hold back, you have to meet it squarely on”
Zinnie Harris speaks about her not one, not two, but three shows at the Edinburgh International Festival this year to The Skinny

“The rehearsal room is the place of real discoveries”
Playwright Zinnie Harris speaks to Thom Dibdin of The Stage

“Of all the projects I’ve ever worked on, the years working on This Restless House were by far the most exhilarating”
Writer Zinnie Harris talks about her years spent working on This Restless House with The Scotsman

“For me, the theatre is where my imagination lives. If there’s something going on, that’s the place I want to express it”
Zinnie Harris: the drama queen of the Edinburgh festival speaks to The Times

“Clytemnestra is not some evil Lady Macbeth figure but… a woman a bit more like me.”
Zinnie Harris on her take on Oresteia in The Times

“It tells stories that have significance and resonance for the largest part of the human race” Director Dominic Hill describes This Restless House to Sunday Herald.

“you have to feel that you’ve got something to bring to it, and if you don’t feel that then you’re best leaving it to the original” Writer Zinnie Harris talks about adapting a 2,500 year old story in
The Herald.

“Agamemnon is a complicated man, a state-sanctioned killer confounded by his own hubris”Actor George Anton discusses playing Agamemnon in the
Evening Times.

Oresteia: This Restless House Playtext

Oresteia: This Restless House playtext by Zinnie Harris.
Includes the three plays:
Agamemnon’s Return
The Bough Breaks
Electra and Her Shadow

RRP £12.99 - available for collection at the Citz for £6.



Deaf Theatre Club

Deaf Theatre Club for Oresteia: This Restless House will take place on 27 Aug at 6pm at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

2017 Rehearsal photos

Oresteia: This Restless House rehearsal photos

2016 reviews for This Restless House
2016 Production Photos

This Restless House Production Photography

Watch the trailer for This Restless House
Audience Feedback 2016
Dominic Hill and Zinnie Harris on Oresteia: This Restless House
What’s This Restless House About?
Why a trilogy of plays?