Argonautika

This family friendly adaptation of Jason and the Argonauts was a fairly comical and entertaining show. The American High School Theatre Festival’s all female cast was a mixed bag of talent, though. A number of these young actresses were talented performers who played their roles convincingly and effortlessly, even managing to draw numerous laughs. However, some performers had real issues with their audibility. Although the Churchill Theatre is large space, most of the cast could project their voices admirably and with feeling. Some, though, came across strained and harsh, as though simply shouting their lines would be effective. This was an unfortunate issue for the performance and something the cast need to work on for future performances since it created a stilted and unprofessional feel.

With just simple props and setting Jason and the Argonauts is hard to do well, as it is a tale of epic proportions, set in wondrous places with a huge cast. This performance kept the setting sparse and rather unimaginative making the stage appear bare and somewhat devoid of colour; not really what I expected from such a colossal story. This could have been avoided with just a little more thought to the backdrop, or more props than just a big blue sheet and yellow towel. Instead of scenery, though, the cast relied on their bodies but I felt this could have been more effective; the cast could have used more inspired blocking to encourage the audiences’ imaginations. A lot of the time it was very basic choreography which would have benefited from more creative thinking.

Aside from this, though, the production was relatively entertaining. A number of the cast also have the opportunity to perform as numerous characters. Those who transitioned between roles throughout were perhaps the most talented on stage: they had clear boundaries between each personality and had effective costumes to ensure every member of the audience knew the change. Well done to these performers in particular, they really stood out.

This production is absolutely worth seeing for families with younger children. It’s definitely not an outstanding theatrical triumph but reasonably entertaining and even fun for those who don’t know the story of Jason. There were only a few performers who let this show down - the projection issue almost jarred enough for it to be ruined - yet on the whole, an enjoyable and light hearted adaptation of a wonderful classic story.

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Performances

The Blurb

Goddesses. Heroes. A young sorceress. A journey into the unknown. Prophecies, good, evil, magic, all are spun together with humour, beauty, and poignancy. San Domenico School presents an all-female cast in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts.

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