Euripides’ classic tale of the irrational versus the rational is brought to life in this new all female production of The Bacchae. Although the message is laid on a bit thick at times, the Company has certainly created a thought-provoking and visually interesting piece of theatre.
For those of us not familiar with Euripides’ classic tale, the story is centred around the Greek God of decadence and wine, Dionysus who comes down from Olympus to lead his supporters, the Maenads, in a celebration of pleasure. In the process, they thoroughly annoy and ultimately cause the death of highly rational King Pentheus,
A square of dead leaves with a blood filled basin in the middle this creates an arena for some clear strong story telling, although the highlight was the rhythmic use of the all female chorus, chanting, drumming, dancing and bewitching they created a frenzied atmosphere every time they appeared.
Overall, The Bacchae was a interesting and thought-provoking night of theatre, and its highbrow background, while a little too self-referential, is exactly the sort of thing that I expect of university theatre – and I cannot fault it for that.