Bacchic - Actors of Dionysus
The Bacchae: myth of wine, women and mad, orgiastic rituals that all ends in tears.
In this performance written and directed by Jonathan Young (Theatre O) and performed by the company's co-founder, Tamsin Shasha, Euripides' original flew out of the window in favour of an up-to-the-minute retelling incorporating a New Age cult that rips to pieces the only sceptic with the temerity to take a public stand against it.
There was a certain Greek flavour to the performance in the ritual and physical spectacle, but gone was the chorus and Shasha was alone on stage as she embodied the glory days of the leader of the cult: the man they dubbed the son of Dionysus.
Characters spilled from his memory as he gyrated up and down the magic rope which had swung him, fakir- like, to stardom.
Shasha's strength was a feat in itself, as she wound herself in and out of different shapes and contorted mid-air to catch each moment. There was never a sense that she had lost control. The rope was like her dancing partner.
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As a comment on today's mob-rule society, where the media can whip up a crowd to fever pitch and the results may be frightening, this mesmerising show would be hard to beat.