Have you ever wondered what it would be like if figures from Greek myth were around today? Well, Zoo Co Theatre Company have got you covered. In Sirens, three of the half-bird, half-woman creatures are transplanted to modern day Hastings. The trio have to learn about how to be modern women and explore how far things have changed for women, or more accurately, how things have not changed since 2000 BC. The show makes use of projection for bags of visual storytelling, and has an endearing self-aware sense of humor. This allows the piece to show the rage and fury felt by the sirens and to communicate it clearly, but without getting bogged down in endless anger.
A tongue-in-cheek and interesting show about trying to take ownership of your own stories.
When the sirens wash up in 2018, their voices still seem to have a murderous effect on men. Luckily they run into Tobi who teaches them to sign - all shows are relaxed, creatively captioned and BSL inclusive. This gives the three the chance to find their independence, and to explore the modern world, with all its trials and difficulties. However, the lie-filled stories told about sirens are still being spread - even today. The show is brimming with parodies, jokes and references. Particularly wonderful were the heist film parody sections and a glorious drag routine to Queen's I Want to Break Free.
The show is visually delightful; the design strikes a nice balance between the otherworldly mythic past and the modern day. The costumes are gorgeously detailed, and the folding set works smoothly with the projection to create a flexible performance space. The cast are a tightly-knit ensemble, and the relationships between the three siren siblings have a natural feel to them.
If anything it felt a bit rushed and short. There was a lot happening with each of the three women having their own plot lines, and the overarching one. A lot had been crammed into the 55 minutes. If anything you wanted it to have room to breathe. All of the sirens had movement sequences about their own internal struggles with the modern world that were so quick it felt like they were over before they really started.
Overall Sirens is a tongue-in-cheek performance about trying to take ownership of your own stories. The ending in particular is really good at underlining how things have not changed, and how people still don’t listen to women.