At the interval during Portia Coughlan at the Almeida, I turned to my friend and said, 'it's very Greek tragedy'. At that point, I hadn't seen the Almeida's behind-the-scenes video in which Alison Oliver, who plays Portia, says: "It's very Greek in terms of the extremities she goes through".
I'd been careful to avoid any information about the play so I could sit down and watch without preconceived ideas.
Which seems a good time to do a spoiler warning. There may be more detail than I would typically include in this. Click away now if that's not your bag.
When we first meet Portia, she's still in her night dress and already drinking. It's her birthday, but her mood isn't exactly celebratory. Her emotions are strained by the absence of her twin brother Gabriel, who died 15 years earlier.
She is dismissive, distant and harsh to her loving husband and neglectful of her three children. This isn't a person in a good place.
Pain and grief roll off her in waves, but there is a desire for something. Sometimes it's a desire to forget, perhaps to feel something else or escape. During the day, she seeks out sex with lovers as well as drink.
There is also a desire for something more destructive; she doesn't seem to care about being seen.
But equally, she feels acutely her family's silence around Gabriel. Her family are unsympathetic, and she takes their reprimands silently - most of the time.