Ancient Antics: Mock the Greek

Mock the Greek was a show that sent up the myths and legends of Greece. Dodo Dramatics used the art of "ham-ature dramatics" to give a different take on these myths and see what happens when comedy and Greek Tragedy combine.

The uncertainty about what they were doing became evident

Whilst this show had some good moments, sadly a lot of it fell flat with its approach. One example is when they combined puppetry with real life people to create the action that unfolded on screen. The puppetry aspects were slick and well put together to create elemnents like a stormy sea, the minotaur and Medusa's snakes in her hair, plus the puppets seemed to have more energy in their performance, as opposed to when we saw the 'real life' characters, such as Detrius. It seemed that as soon as the real life action happened, the energy in performance dropped and the uncertainty about what they were doing became evident. Maybe a suggestion to help make things run a lot more smoothly would be to deliberately stick with the puppetry and allow themselves to have more fun with it, rather than have the disjointed sensation of going between the two different states.

Another issue seemed to be having moments that appeared a little too random for what they were trying to do with Mock the Greek, such as playing What Shall We do with the Drunken Sailor and having the Trojan Horse brought in by a builder. These seemed to be tactics to fill the gaps in between the action, and were not necessarily relevant to the sequence. Again, if maybe a different song was to be chosen that was more in keeping with the period for the storm, and the usage of puppets and sets had been made more of, then it would be a funnier approach to this piece.

Having said all this, there were two other highlights during the show. The Minotaur (voiced by Ronnie Martin) was portrayed by a stuffed toy, operated by two girls, and was seen as a vain creature. There were elements reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight sketch with all sorts of body parts being chopped off. Also, Medusa herself (played by Trudi License) was a great character. Her portrayal was as a spolit girl who can't get herself a man, with snakes for hair that were her 'yes' people. The best line she had was mentioned after a disastrous date: "nothing was set in stone!" However, it was the snakes who stole the show as they showed themselves to be two faced. Nice one moment, then nasty as soon as she fell asleep.

Mock the Greek needs a lot of work, but by concentrating more on the puppetry and sets and raising the performance energy, this has potential to grow into something special.

Reviews by Sascha Cooper

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Behold! A tale of trial and tribulation - these so-called myths that made our impoverished nation! Join Deetrius the Great in this "Horrible Histories meets Monty Python" comedy adventure as he battles ferocious Greek waters, a stupendous Trojan Horse and a (not so) mighty Minotaur. Dodo Dramatics, the world's first zero-waste puppetry organisation, are proud to present our inaugural production of Ancient Antics: Mock the Greek.

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