5.27.2009

Day 6, part I of IV - Backward Glance

I wasn't wowed by their poster image - here's their website:
http://www.multistorytheatre.co.uk/BG/index.htm

So honestly, that put me off a bit. They came to see DECAF, they were super nice, said that there were some similar elements, and I figured, professional courtesy at least, I'd check them out. Then I started hearing about the show, saw Silvis' review. Didn't change what I was doing, but certainly made me feel better about it.

Here's the odd thing about Silvis' review, given that he seems fairly well-informed generally, and it's odd about the Czech translation of their blurb, which omits the word "myth" in its entirety: this show is ALL Orpheus and Eurydice. And it's probably the best adaptation of that story I've ever encountered.

No names are mentioned - a female celebrity writer has just died, and her husband is being interrogated by three people: the police (maybe), a gossip columnist, and the dead woman's mother. Her husband is a writer too, of course. In this telling, Eurydice is a powerful writer in her own right, has her own voice, but Orpheus doesn't see her for who she wants to be. She's a little messed up, and she knows it, and she doesn't want to be. The cause of her death is never wholly determined - was it bees, was it spiked honey mead, was it a snake. How culpable was her husband, at least of neglect? The man plays just the writer, the woman plays the other four parts. The three that are not the dead woman could be the Furies/Fates, whom Orpheus would have made cry in the underworld (no crying in this show), but they do pursue him with a vengeance. At the end of the play, the reporter notes the crowd of gathering women outside, howling for the husband's head, arriving spontaneously via text, SMS, computers, to let each other know what's happening: the Bacchae as the court of public opinion.

Tight, non-linear script. Great re-telling of the story - here, Eurydice tricks Orpheus into looking back. She doesn't want to return to life. And solid, solid performances. Small house. Damn. That sucks, because they're really spectacular.

One change: too much projection. I'm not against multimedia the way Alvaro is, but I'm not sure how much it added. Good execution of a choice I wouldn't have made though. Silvis' review is on Day 2.

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