The writer has turned a Greek tragedy about a marooned soldier into an all-women play for the Covid era. They reveal how its creation mirrored their own journey

‘These stories can be intimidating for so many reasons,” Kae Tempest says of the classical Greek tragedies. “But more than that, they are galvanising. They give you something that was important thousands of years ago that lands you more fully in the now. They have this roaring effect, where we’ve brought the past with us.”

Tempest, who uses they/them pronouns, is a revelatory writer and performer, seamlessly blending the ancient and the new. Much of their work is steeped in the history and magic of Greek myths, from the Ted Hughes award-winning Brand New Ancients, which places the gods alongside us modern mortals, to the hypnotic, flesh-filled poetry collection Hold Your Own, based on the story of gender-switching prophet Tiresias.

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