The Mares

2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

In THE MARES, Kate Mulvany re-imagines the life of the mythological figure, Hippolyta. While Hippolyta is typically regarded as a side character in the epic Greek ‘hero’ myths, in Mulvany’s play the story belongs to her front and centre. Set evocatively in a period of war-time truce, the play portrays the warrior women around her as exquisitely drawn individuals who are also part of a tribe with a collective purpose.

Sitting alongside this story is a complementary portrayal of the warrior women as actual mares, ready to breed, controlled by a trainer. This stark metaphor is elegantly handled by Mulvany, allowing us to see that the strength women maintain can easily be re-negotiated by the structures that contain them. THE MARES is an achingly beautiful feminist work that also displays delicious humour. It captures the imagination, twists the soul and excites with the possibilities of its staging.