The Games

4 Stars

****

The Games from Spike Theatre is gloriously funny and includes many forms of comedy theatre ranging from satire to song and dance to slapstick. The dialogue is a bit corny at times but the physical action is performed so well by Liam Tobin, Jamie Wood and Lauren Silver who are all magnificent in their versatility.

The action starts with a prologue explaining the background to the play we are about to see. The premise is that a play by Aristophanes has recently been discovered by a group of academics and they are going to give the world premiere performance.

The opening scene sees Zeus, his wife Hera, and their son Hercules discussing the upcoming Olympic Games. They decide on having a bet by giving three unlikely individuals a gift each in order that they can compete against the best. Stanzas is a rhymer of doggerel verse; Darius is a lowly farmhand; and Hermaphrodite an athletic young woman.

The three characters meet up on the way to the Games and their adventures begin. When we come to the scene where they arrive at the undressing room, we wonder how the action will be depicted for we know back in ancient times the competitors were naked. False willies are the answer. Hermaphrodite can explain away the bandage around her upper body as protection for an injured rib.

The events are wildly physical – a chariot race, a boxing match, throwing and running. Do they become heroes by winning? Will Hermaphrodite be able hid her femininity? It is worth going along to find out.

Reviewed by Ben

Zoo Roxy: 115

5 to 29 August 2011 (not 23)

12.30 – 13.40

Fringe Programme Page Number: 265

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