PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Saturday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
11° & CLEAR SKY ON SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER IN SYDNEY
By Rima Sabina Aouf
December 16, 2013
  shares

Oedipus Schmoedipus – Belvoir and post

A bloody start to the Belvoir year has audiences divided.
By Rima Sabina Aouf
December 16, 2013
  shares
BUY TICKETS

If you listen to many theatre reviewers, you'll believe there's something wrong with you if you enjoy the opening act of Oedipus Schmoedipus, apparently the Sydney Festival's most divisive work.

But I'm here to say it's bloody brilliant (emphasis on the bloody — it's basically writer-performers Zoe Coombs Marr and Mish Grigor killing each other and themselves in numerous vivid ways). The comedic timing, the ingenious weapon concealment, the improbable wailing of 'Love the Way You Lie' — the whole thing really comes together as a surreal mash-up of comic-book violence and a celebration of the craft of stage blood.

There are other highlights in the hour that follows, as the women of post riff on the death scenes from some 2500 years of drama, from Aeschylus to Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen and Wilde. The ensemble has a gift for making layered, surprising shows out of seemingly novelty premises — in Who's the Best? they tried to empirically determine which one of the group was the best all-round human, and in Everything I Know About the Global Financial Crisis in One Hour they intentionally plunged into socioeconomic analysis without doing any research.

Following Oedipus Schmoedipus's gory opener, the group attacks the death question with an arsenal including absurd comedy monologues, wordplay, group dancing, frenetic kabuki drops and two dozen fresh volunteers each night, squirming on stage while following carefully choreographed directions. It's fun to watch all this smash together — there's a strain of modern Dada to post's comedy, as randomness, nonsense and juxtaposition play their parts. The crazy experiments of durational performance artists are felt too.

Perhaps the problem is that the methods don't quite match the mission this time around. Although their previous works allowed the audience glimpses of poignancy, in the face of a big subject like death — the biggest subject, some might say — most of what post fling at us seems pointless. Unless the only point that can be made about death is that it's pointless, in which case, everything is perfect. What can be said for sure is that the show seems to throw up more obstacles than aids to the audience's engagement.

Though the entertainment value falls rather than climbs in Oedipus Schmoedipus, it's great to see the spirit of experimentation grip the Upstairs Belvoir arena. Post are one of the most exciting forces in devised performance in Sydney, and they deserve to be up here.

Oddly enough, considering the show's whole premise is playing on the theatrical canon, it's fans of said canon who will likely hate the result. Intrepid arty genre-hoppers, your presence is required.

NEARBY PLACES

  • List
  • Map

SIMILAR EVENTS

  • List
  • Map

NEARBY EVENTS

  • List
  • Map
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x