Eurydice (The Flanagan Collective and Gobbledegook Theatre)
Theatre Republic, La Boite Studio
September 17 – 21
‘It is a tradition for this style of storytelling to be told from a book that is special and personal’, audiences are told at the outset of “Eurydice”. We see this subsequently enacted in the prop accompaniment that Louise WIlliams has in-hand for the duration of her delivery of what, at times, seems like a dynamic Ted talk #inagoodway, full of energy and engaging eye-contact, but with an appealing informality of sorts.
This is “Eurydice”, the two-handed other side of the “Orpheus” coin, a modern retelling of the ancient Greek myth, full of big themes decanted into the little details of human experience. And its message is integral to our stories too through its commentary about the stories of self that we don’t always let go of as readily as we should.
We begin with a precocious five-year-old Leni, formerly Eurydice, a rough cut young girl who is soon 16 and falling for a boy, Aristaeus, and his three chord musical wooing. What follows for them is a hard and fast trajectory of the “Romeo and Juliet” sort, complete with teenage wedding and genuine belief that their choice to love each other will be forever. And so we then traverse the topography of their relationship through to intersection with Orpheus.
Like its companion work “Orpheus”, “Eurydice” is a spoken word piece with music, rather than a drama of the traditional play sort. Unfortunately, however, its live electronica beat initially overwhelms Yoshika Colwell’s guitar sounds. Indeed, while the performers’ voices harmonise together beautifully, there is a less organic feel to the show’s soundtrack comparative to “Orpheus”. Like in the earlier work though, Hades is presented as a dark, closely-guarded place where spirits and souls reside and when our story gets there, its lighting design obliges.
“Eurydice” is clearly a crafted work with thematic threads and motifs woven together within the work itself and with “Orpheus” too. Alexander Wright’s writing is eloquently poetic as if the precision of every word is being celebrated as integral to realisation of the show’s rhythm. While you don’t need to see both productions to appreciate this, back-to-back viewing does provide opportunity for a satisfying pay-off when things descend into the underworld and the traditional myth takes centre stage.
It might not be as polished as its more established “Orpheus” predecessor, and could be tightened in cohesion towards the point in which the stories intersect, however, “Eurydice” is still a worthwhile enough work in its own right.