Howard Taubman's description of "At the outset he shows us the radiant Alcestis greeting King Admetus, her husband, returned from the wars after another victory. Her acceptance of her duty to honor and adore her master knows no questioning. He insists that his triumph was lucky, but she will not believe him. When death seeks him out, and it is decreed that he can be saved only if someone takes his place, she alone in all Thessaly accepts the grim destiny as if it were a glorious privilege. Thus far Mr. Valency pursues the main lines of the legend…In the second half THE THRACIAN HORSES gets down to its ironic business. It suggests that Alcestis, brought back by Heracles from Hades, is outraged to discover that she has been robbed of her chance of lasting fame. She turns into a shrewish tigress. She tells Admetus that she has always detested his vapid, fat face. Crito has some conventionally cynical remarks to make. Alcestis and Admetus bicker like a pair of fishmongers. Peace is restored only when Zeus, from a perch above the troubled multitude, appears and speaks of his and his creatures' problems. He is a wise, quavering old party, and he observes, as if Pirandello had never said it, that reality is merely illusions. Thereupon he restores the illusion of love to Admetus and Alcestis."
A witty and gently ironic retelling of the Alcestis legend which enjoyed successful productions in both London and New York. "THE THRACIAN HORSES, resourceful in classical allusions, speaks for a civilized mind." —NY Times. "Valency's sense of invention is after the manner of Giraudoux." —NY Mirror.