Frogs

School group Centaurs of Attention have an excellent company name and a rather good Fringe show to boot. This modern take on Aristophanes’ Frogs is full of the vim and vigour necessary to succeed, weaving together a new modern soundtrack with a clear understanding of the ancient jokes, as well.

Centaurs of Attention have managed to make Ancient Greek comedy actually funny, once more.

The girls of Benenden School in Kent can be proud of what they’ve accomplished. All of the ensemble commit to their roles with the necessary amounts of energy and silliness to pull the whole thing off. Izy Gibson’s Xanthius is consistently on-point, with a natural instinct for comic timing. Noorie Abbas puts in an entertaining performance as Charon, and special praise must be reserved for Mia Worlidge and Erin Yay, who displayed their exemplary skills on the guitar.

Greek comedy can often feel a bit dated, but the cast used these jokes to their advantage, with the script containing just the right balance between modern and ancient references. The new soundtrack composed for the show worked very well, too. Hearing a Greek chorus actually sing the words ‘Brekekex’ was refreshing, and many of the other songs used were very pleasant to listen to. However, the singing could have done with a bit more volume and diction on occasion.

As with all comedies, not all the jokes worked. One extended joke about lots of different people playing the part of Dionysius dragged a bit, although it did have a fairly good pay-off with some audience interaction at the end. Indeed, it was the more metatheatrical jokes that tended to miss the mark. The overall narrative of the play is also probably a little confusing to anyone not already familiar with the original, although that’s as much Aristophanes’ fault as anyone else’s.

But all in all, Frogs is a solid addition to any afternoon’s entertainment. Centaurs of Attention have managed to make Ancient Greek comedy actually funny, once more.

Reviews by James Beagon

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Performances

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The Blurb

Will the God of Rock and his long-suffering manager survive their quest to the underworld? Will you? Cross-dressing, a corpse and a man with a copper leg all feature in this new musical adaptation of Aristophanes' sublime comedy. Join in the adventure, fun and games, as Dionysus and Xanthius embark on a terrifying journey to the nether-world. Why? To hold a poetry competition of course! Only a great dead poet can possibly save popular culture from its derivative mediocrity. But who will it be? Experience the afterlife as never before, and help them choose a winner!