Current Issue #478

Fringe Review: Eurydice

Fringe Review: Eurydice

Serene Manteghi gives her second standout performance of the 2019 Fringe season in an otherwise inconsistent retelling of the Greek myth.

Like many of today’s stories, the ancient Greek myths are largely told from the male hero’s perspective. For thousands of years we’ve heard the tale of the lyre-playing Orpheus in which Eurydice appears only as a vessel for his longing and character development, but no longer.

In the mould of Wicked, this revisionist theatrical production retells the story from Eurydice’s perspective, casting her as the heroine with a powerful personality and agency over her own path. And like its companion piece Orpheus, it transports these mythic lovers to the modern world with a deft touch.

Serene Manteghi – who is also appearing in Build a Rocket – peppers her performance with expressive gestures, modern slang and the occasional sly wink and brings an intoxicating energy to the title role. Opposite her, Casey Jay Andrew divides her time between supporting roles and using a sampler to create a musical backdrop. Again like Orpheus, this performance has a number of musical interludes.

Much of the story is told through verse, which is contained in two thick books and from these pages words trip and trickle, joining together in tributaries to form a torrent of poesy. When Manteghi is in full flight the effect is majestic and the dense text has a strong internal rhythm. Unfortunately, both performers read from these pages for the duration of the show and appear to still be familiarising themselves with the script so at times the performance is stilted.

Less compelling are the musical interludes, in which the songs strive for pathos but come up short. They break the spell of this tightly woven text and the singalongs in the performance seem forced and trite. When Eurydice soars it is spectacular, but at 70 minutes the performance is a little too long to do justice to this story of an ancient nymph turned modern superhero.

Eurydice was performed in The Sunken Garden at Holden Street Theatres on Tuesday, February 26.

Eurydice
February 27 – March 3, March 12- March 16
Holden Street Theatres
adelaidefringe.com.au

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