Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27. Day 147. Greek tragedy

The ancient Greeks were seriously messed up. I mean seriously some of those Greek myths were dangerously perverted in a way that if I was to write them today I might just find myself subjected to the thought police or perhaps a best selling fan fiction author with a multimillion dollar fortune. It's hard to tell. But when it comes to dangerously messed up tales, Oedipus is top of the strange tree. He accidentally kills his father and marries and has four children with his mother. On finding out the truth, he gouges his eyes out and she kills herself. It is just the sort of stuff tabloids love. It's click bait  on steroids. This is probably the strongest take-home message of Brisbane writer Dan Evan's new modern interpretation of the myth Oedipus Doesn't Live Here any More which opened at the Queensland Theatre Company's Billie Brown Studio tonight. This is the type of story we should be appalled by - and we will say we are - while engaging in essentially tragedy porn and lapping up every last sordid detail. This is an intriguing work. Funny and confronting. Disgusting but charming. It will not be everyone's cup of tea (in fact I am told some people walked out of the previews). But for those who like theatre that isn't just more of the same, theatre that challenges and goes out on a limb, you could do worse than give it a go. It. certainly beat State of Origin for my idea of a way of spending a Wednesday night. And for the record, Drama Teen also loved it. But then he would. Last year, when set a drama task of creating a modern interpretation of a Greek tragedy, he decided to turn his hand to Pygmalion. In that myth, the Greek sculptor Pygmalion is so repulsed by the local prostitutes that he shuns women and instead devotes his entire attention to his work. He creates the perfect woman in stone and falls in love and as a reward for his devotion, The Gods bring his woman to life. In Drama Teen's vision, a man is so tired of meaningless Tinder-style Internet hookups that he turns his back on relationships and orders himself a blow-up doll.... He falls in love. She comes to life. Seriously messed up.

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