New Takes on Old Myths (With No Gods or Dragons)

New Takes on Outdated Myths (With No Gods or Dragons)

One other younger German director, Elsa-Sophie Jach, makes an attempt one thing like a feminist model of “Dionysos Stadt” with “The Outrageous Ones: Technoid Love Letters for Historic Heroines,” at Munich’s Residenztheater. With its lengthy narrations, installation-like set and percussive stay music, there’s a lot concerning the manufacturing that feels just like Rüping’s work.

Within the intimate confines of the Marstall, a small Residenztheater stage within the former imperial stables, six actresses cavort round a hot-pink fountain as they recount the myths of Echo, Medusa, Cassandra, Medea, Philomela and Penelope — a few of antiquity’s best-known and bloodiest. There’s no scarcity of killing, sexual violence and wanton cruelty in these tales, usually narrated within the first particular person, about ladies that suffer by the hands of gods and males. (The performing textual content is itself a patchwork of historic and trendy texts, from Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides and Sappho as much as trendy feminist authors, together with Christa Wolf and Hélène Cixous.)

Though these tales are well-known, the actresses achieve making us really feel discomfort and rage on the sickening violence enacted in opposition to ladies time and again. By giving voice to wronged or misunderstood feminine figures, “The Outrageous Ones” sticks it to the patriarchy, as represented by Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo.

It’s a trendy and guaranteed manufacturing. An onstage band, Slatec, helps to channel the feminine fury with its dynamic improvisations. The eclectic quartet — two units of percussion, synthesizers and a trombone — performs what may finest be described as techno meets huge band.

The musicians drive the night with momentum and vitality, whereas the band’s colourful outfits distinction with the somber black worn by the actresses for many of the efficiency — as does the blood that shoots out of the fountain by the gallon towards the top of the night. Aleksandra Pavlovic’s playful set and Barbara Westernach’s stark, dramatic lighting assist flip the small brick inside of the Marstall right into a kooky nightclub with a haunted-house vibe.

Because the efficiency attracts to a detailed, nevertheless, it strains for relevance by together with the real-life story of Nevin Yildirim, a lady who in 2015 was sentenced to life imprisonment in Turkey for killing a person who had raped her. Jach’s choice so as to add Yildirim to the pantheon of cruelly mistreated queens, princesses and nymphs feels misplaced. Such editorializing appears tendentious, as if Jach and her performers lacked religion of their classical materials. Earlier than this modern-day interpolation, nevertheless, the manufacturing speaks up for the silenced ladies of antiquity in delicate, eloquent and artistically surprising methods.

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