Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother of Spoofs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother of Spoofs

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

OEDIPUSSY Lyric Hammersmith, W6 GREEK tragedy, with its brutal truthtelling and short-sharp-shock precision, is, for those so inclined, ripe for spoofing. But to turn it into a workable comedy is a serious business, which is where those much-praised japesters Spymonkey come in. For their new venture -- which, despite the title, owes little to Bond but quite a bit to Barbarella -- they have teamed up with Kneehigh's artistic director Emma Rice. The combination of these two fruitful styles of storytelling is a joyously inventive, muscularly physical reworking of the Oedipus legend.

"Let's go back to before the beginning" urge the multinational foursome as they embark on "Sophocles by Oedipus", and so we do and let the classical unities be damned. Oedipus's lengthy backstory is unravelled for us by a storyteller who, wonderfully, sports part of a Corinthian column on his head, and when it's time for the Delphic Oracle it appears in the shape of two large balloons which get batted around the auditorium. …

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