24/03/2018 - 25/03/2018
NZ Fringe Festival 2018 [reviewing supported by WCC]
The Odyssey is a chaotic, sexy and very funny romp through CubaDupa 2018. Our very famous and very French company of performers guide you through Wellington as we follow Odysseus trying to make his way back home.
Start at The Left Bank, off Cuba Mall, Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Saturday 24 March, 2:00pm
Saturday 24 March 2:00pm
Saturday 24 March 4:00pm
Sunday 25 March 1:30pm
Sunday 25 March 3:45pm
Theatre , Promenade , Outdoor ,
Review by John Smythe 24th Mar 2018
Another Classic on ASID is on offer at CubaDupa, just twice today and twice tomorrow. We find the “incredibly French and incredibly famous” theatre troupe, A Slightly Isolated Dog, at The Left Bank (where else?) off Cuba Mall. Or rather that’s where they find us.
This time, with their characteristic panache and élan, ASID knocks of nothing less than Homer’s epic The Odyssey in 30 minutes. Or 25 minutes, not counting the business of getting us ready to accompany the incredibly sexy and charismatic Odysseus on his journey home to Ithaca, to be reunited with his incredibly beautiful wife, Penelope.
It’s actually just his side of the story we become immersed in. Even so there are many things we don’t have time for, like the recounting of his exploits in the 10-year Trojan Wars. I do feel for all those Greeks stuck in the Wooden Horse one thespian claims to have already made, though.
Lengths of twine define the boat with its makeshift sail. The mall – seething with Festival-goers – is the ocean, sporting many a Penelope phantasm. A shipwreck sees us wash into a cave where the Cylops is encountered …
At one point we encounter a very tall Golden Man (on stilts), wearing a helmet just like the one Odysseus wears. Has Jason been rolling in the Golden Fleece? But no, he’s setting off to join the SteamPunk Parade we serendipitously encounter.
The ever-suave cast – Susie Berry, Jack Buchanan, Andrew Paterson, Jonathan Price and director Leo Gene Peters – are astonishingly adept at conveying the key points of the story and maintaining our forward momentum amid the illusion of chaos.
Prize for the best improvised gag goes to Susie Berry, in response to the boy who cheers at the thought of being turned into a pig if he eats cheese and drinks wine. “You can drink wine and turn into a pig when you are 18,” she quips. “That ees when it ’appens, no?”
The Sirens’ song is surprisingly modern and non-seductive … Audience participants get to enact the happy reunion that brings this koha show to a close. (We are spared the slaughter of Penelope’s would-be suitors and the hanging of her maids, thankfully.)
If you are going to CupaDupa tomorrow include The Odyssey on your itinerary. It’s great fun.
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