There's no shortage of blood and gore in Caroline Bird's updating of Euripide's Greek tragedy, but where's the heart?

The war is over, the men are dead and in a shabby maternity unit, Hecuba, the fallen queen of Troy, and the Chorus, represented by a single pregnant 'commoner', await their fate.

Bird's punchy adaptation cleverly packs the complex tale of the Trojan war, its roots and its consequences into an easy-to-follow 90 minutes.

But the production mistakes blood, swearing and shouting for real tragedy and focuses too much on the power struggles at play, forgetting the emotional devastation.

It's hard to feel for Hecuba or her unfortunate companion. The stench of the antiseptic-soaked corridors hits you on entering the theatre and it's as if that same antiseptic is running through their veins.

This is the first in artistic director Christopher Haydon's Aftermath season of plays looking at the consequences of war, and there are clear nods to modern-day disasters.

The play is bookended by appearances from the gods Poseidon, played by Roger Lloyd-Pack, and Athena (Tamsin Greig) who appear on screen amid flickering images of carnage and brutalities.

The message is clear, but tired: as the gods look on, bored, humans continually fail to learn the lessons of war, foolishly believing they can outwit the fates.

For a play about the women left to suffer the consequences of men's actions, it's perhaps a surprise the two stand-out performances come from men.

Lloyd-Pack, better known as Trigger from Only Fools and Horses, makes a surprisingly convincing insouciant, cigar-toting god of the seas.

Sam Cox, meanwhile, puts in a brief but truly menacing turn as Menelaus, the Spartan king whose betrayal by Helen sparks the war.