The play was first performed 2,426 years ago in Athens, produced by Aristophanes – a comic playwright who wrote 30 plays. 11 of them survive today.
Lysistrata is based on one woman’s (Lysistrata) effort to end the Peloponnesian War, by persuading the women of Greece to stop having sex with their husbands to force them to negotiate peace. I guess the flaw in the plan should be that they’ll probably just start having sex with each other (they call it Greek style for a reason!), but we’ll overlook that.
The play is put on by The Bacchanals, in a 90 minute production. The cast of 12 skillfully interlace a very old comedy, with some modern references. It combines into a very fun show.
Ancient Greek comedy is very dirty and far from subtle, and so was this production. It most definitely is not a play for children or people offended by large artificial penises and/or profane language. It also has some nudity.
The nude (well topless) scene was slightly discordant for me. I’ve been to lots of shows with nudity with no problem, but in this show I slightly know the actress concerned, and when it happened I near-automatically started looking everywhere around the theatre except at the stage. It was interesting how you react differently to nudity of strangers and someone you know.
The show is pretty faithful to the original, but has a feminist and pacifist theme running through it. You don’t need to agree with the politics, to enjoy the show – in fact quite the opposite.
It’s on in the Dome at Bats Theatre until Saturday 6 June. Makes for a fun bawdy night out.