Aug 6-26 (15.30)
Deep in all our common histories lies the Sophoclean masterpiece, Oedipus Rex. ‘He took a face from the ancient gallery,’ sang Jim Morrison almost two millennia later during the 20th century Freudian resurrection of the main motifs of the Oedipus legend – kill your father, sleep with your mother, rip your own eyes out in disgust. I’m not quite sure modern society has ever recovered psychologically from beyond being told we all want to sleep with our parents, but anyway, theatrically, the mythomemes still pack a punch.
Pecho Mama are the natural inheritors of the tradition modernity, their Medea Electronica was sublime, & now their Oedipus Electra can also go down as a winner in the annals of transcreative theatre. The live musical accompaniment is brilliant – Don Bird on drums is well cool, like – while the three actors were quality-concise & confident, including, of course, Mella Fay as Jocasta, the company’s artistic director & beating heart. The play is big, bold, brazen, brash & in your face with violence & traumatic pregnancies. I don’t want to give too much away, of course, but Pecho Mama’s adaption needs a wee spoiler I’m afraid (alert here). The idea is that 2022’s Jocasta has created an Oedipus in her writing – there are a series of really powerful scenes when the action is happening quite furiously above & around her while she is typing like a gazelle escaping a lion.
I was extremely impressed by this neogothic production as a symbiotic organism – all parts fuse together extremely well to create a fluid creature from the depths of the psychic ocean, which crawls to shore waving its dark tentacles in your face before slipping away into the murk & leaving you doing a standing ovation. Proper buzzing theatre! Oedipus Electra is an esoteric & entertaining play, with a viscerality not the faint-hearted.