Set against the backdrop of modern
day, debt-ridden Greece, this modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ Greek comedy
Though unorthodox in nature and deviating from the plot fairly substantially, the message that it tries to purvey still remains.
The perpetual word play, double entendres and sexual innuendos rendered this performance appropriately in-your-face, playing on the word ‘coming’ being the most common example of these instances. The catalyst for many such situations was the mélange of heterosexual happenings as well as those of a more homosocial nature that had homosexual undertones, which made reference to the fragility of gender relations between men and women at the time the play was originally written.
The effortlessness that the actors displayed in playing characters of various ages and genders instantly reassured the audience as to the competent performance that was to follow. Not only was it a testament to the individual actors’ strong acting ability, but it was the utter ease with which each character interacted with one another that made the performance the constantly cohesive one that it became. Andrea Newlands deserves a particularly special mention for her performance as the comical, yet believable, mother-hen figure of the women’s campaign not to give their men sex until they agree to end the war with peace. Her change in accent in the role of game show host – yes, there is a game show in Lysistrata – towards the end of the performance further displayed her remarkable acting prowess.
The clever use of props was also not a feature that was or even could be missed. Disregarding the enormously erect genitalia that was on display for a large section of the play, the four-poster bed at the beginning of this production from Actors of Dionysus quickly made it apparent that this was a play predominantly concerning sexual politics. The next scene having a coin-patterned backdrop, with the word 'BANK' hanging above it didn't require much imagination as to the sexual act it would soon spell out. Yet, this was done cleverly in triggering the abundance of amorous scenarios that were to follow.
Though unorthodox in nature and deviating from the plot fairly substantially, the message that it tries to purvey still remains. And with a vengeance too. One for all to see – apart from the innocent eyes and ears of young children of course – you really shouldn’t miss out on this intimate cast of five in this comedy of epic proportions.