Oedipus - The Hour

The story of Oedipus is an extremely well known Greek myth which tells the tale of a man who kills his father and weds his mother. This is the core of the play but is much more complicated than that. As Oedipus is commonly performed at the Fringe, the quality of it has to be extremely high before it can stand above the rest. I don’t think this version will be remembered for anything brilliant in years to come.

The Minotaur Theatre Company did manage successfully to turn Oedipus into their own. With a brand new script and many unique features, this version definitely should receive praise for their creativity. Special effects such as only showing a silhouette behind a white screen were used in one of the more delicate scenes and the company were able to make sound effects with their voices which added some tension.

The acting could have been better. I felt many of the cast were out of their depth performing such a complicated play. Many of the actors seemed to be reciting their lines on a stage without really understanding their meaning and this really let the performance down. There should have also been much more tension in the climatic scenes. I did not feel gripped during any of the play and Oedipus himself seemed to be incredibly flat which meant scenes such as him telling his children who their mother actually was was very dry and unemotional.

The chorus of Thebans were all dressed as peasants while Oedipus and his family seemed to be wearing extremely modern business suits. This was completely out of place. Oedipus is not a businessman and it is absolutely not set in 2012.

The venue was not great either. This lowered my enjoyment even more. Very few light changes were made- i think this could've been used better especially as the cast seemed to be inexperienced so detecting scene changes from dialogue was difficult at some points.

I think this version demonstrates a good lesson: inexperienced casts should stick to basic plays and not complex Greek myths. Good companies can perform Oedipus well and these versions are absolutely worth watching

The Blurb

In this intensely theatrical reworking of Sophocles’ ancient text, Minotaur Theatre Company tell the story of Oedipus – a king who fulfilled a prophecy that said he would murder his father and marry his mother.