October 27, 2007

Maenads

Tonight's entertainment was a production of Euripides' The Bacchae. I had a hard time with it; I was sort of tired and this sort of thing really requires concentration to overcome the cultural gulf between ancient Greek society and here-now. Monologues, a staple of this kind of theatre, are also tricky on the best of days, although I really can't complain too much about the delivery (other than that it was a little overdone at times). Not having read or seen the play before, I can't be sure, but I suspect the translation could've been a bit better, more colloquial, too.

There were a lot of little things that I liked. The scene was set with a little table/altar at the back of the stage platform, with some bowls and cups and a bunch of grapes on it. For reasons I can't really pin down, I found this almost trivially simple set-prop work to be really effective. The lighting was also relatively simple but effective: the whole stage area would be bathed in blue and then switch to neutral-white, or vice versa, or the white light might switch to a warmer, more incandescent yellowish glow at a scene change or mystical event, and really make you sit up and take notice. The scream of agony as Agave (Abby Harms) came to her senses was truly inspired.

Overall, I can't say I was thrilled, though. I certainly didn't think of it as wasted time or anything, but I don't know that I'd do it again if I had a do-over. I suppose I'm outing myself as a philistine again, but this kind of theatre really isn't my cup of tea. On the other hand, it might be just the sort of thing you'd like, if you like that sort of thing.

"How can I have a nine year old? I'm only 25, and have been for twelve years." --Leigh Anne Wilson

Posted by blahedo at 12:00am on 27 Oct 2007
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