Tiger at the Gates



  • (La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu). A play by JeanGiraudoux, first performed in 1935 in Paris. It did not openin London until 1955, when it was seen at the Apollo Theatre in atranslation by Christopher Fry. Michael Redgrave, who starred as Hector,gave a performance described by Kenneth Tynan as "a monumentalpiece of acting". He went on to play the role at New York'sPlymouth Theatre, receiving the New York Drama critics' Award for 1955.

    The play, which is set during the Trojan War, explores theconflict between pacifism and patriotism. Hector, Troy's greatesthero, returns from war intent on keeping the peace. However, he soonlearns that the Greeks, under Odysseus, are coming to try to forcehis brother, Paris, to release the abducted Helen. Although the populace,urged on by the war-mongering poet Demokos, cries out for battle Hectornegotiates with Odysseus for the return of Helen. However, when Demokosfalsely claims to have been attacked by the Greek Ajax this furtherinflames Trojan passions and war becomes inevitable.