FRINGE REVIEW – Lysistrata: The Disco Vaudeville Rock’n’Roll Musical


By Veronika Kallus

Ancient Greece meets the modern world in this classical tale of men and women, of war and peace. Men go to war, and will keep going, women stay at home, longing for their husbands and fearing for their sons. Will they keep putting up with it?

Not if Lysistrata gets her way. She comes up with a radical solution: the old women will seize the city’s citadel and guard the treasury: no money, no war. And the young women will deny their men what they most want when they return home from war – their gentleness and, ultimately, sex. It takes some convincing, and a lot of stamina to keep up. The question remains – will it be worth it in the end?

‘War – what is it good for? Absolutely nothing’ is the shout-it-out line with which this kaleidoscopic musical begins. Cleverly choreographed, rhythmical, colourful and constantly varied, it does its title – The Disco Vaudeville Rock’n’Roll Musical – justice. Cabaret-like style singing, dancing, puppetry, slow motion battle scenes, slapstick, tap-dance, it’s all there. The voices are impressively casted, strong and clear, sound in general is very good. Even if all actors are singing, most of the lyrics are still graspable and the message clear.

Costume designer Lisa Jordan has done an outstanding job in combining modern dress with a classical appearance. Colourful, floating robes for the young ladies and kilts replacing loincloths on the warriors – the kilts also work their part for illustrating certain hard conditions as the strike goes on.

Throughout the play the female actors leave a stronger and more vivid impression than the male ones – but that is probably owed to the fact that this battle of the sexes is fought with women’s weapons. The musical might be a bit too saucy in places for the time it’s performed at, 11:30am. But other than that, it couldn’t be suggestive enough.

Showing in the Gilded Balloon Teviot August 6th – 11th (not 8th) at 11:30am.

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