Our Eyes Met

The Space – Surgeons hall
Aug 8 – 13, 13,00

The title for this play ‘Our Eyes Met’ caught my eye as an appealing one and it didn’t let me down. The Space – Surgeon Hall room was blackened with drapes as the play began. The St Catherine’s School’s Drama crew were in the position of 2 groups sitting either side of the stage. There was an air of confidence bubbling about them already.

They were at a train station waiting for a train, from which the ghostly tale was to unfold. Straight away we knew we were in the realm of the gods, the Greek Gods to be exact. The metaphorical waves were hugely stirred as the Gods and muses tussled with bad news of rape and murder.

Out of the chaos the saga of Perseus and Medusa immerged as the central story. The play told it as the Legend had happened where Medusa was punished by Athena for mating with Poseidon. Athena was furious and cursed Medusa to a terrible and tragic life of the freshly created gorgon. Medusa’s new power meant that whomever she set her eyes upon would turn to stone, also in her pitiable fate was to be banished to live alone on a remote rocky island.

The mighty subject on show here held a remarkable twist in a fresh retelling of a strong and enjoyable journey of Medusa and Perseus. The play tied down a kind of contest that carefully placed our attention on assumptions of how we look at things through the eyes of the gods. With Athena furious and incensed it wasn’t long till Perseus travelled, under instruction from his father Zeus; making Perseus a half god half mortal, to find and slay poor Medusa.

The naturalness of the play rose in the delectable energy portraying the kind of multifaceted plot to leave Medusa and Perseus under a trial of the scene of Medusa’s death by his sword. The moment of killing her was part of the remarkable twist. Re-enacting this scene was the fate of the play. Taking turns (enthusiastically) to play the scene found that each case for the prosecution and defence ran a little differently, though always on Olympian proportions.

Their deliberating stood strong, with the strength of the gods, and comedy of importance. And together it strode forth with an inquisition in an attempt to find the truth about the murderous actions of the gods and Perseus. And with each perfectly framed repetition of the scene the reality on trial in the play became; who the real monster was? A question of compassion was struck.

Was Athena too wild in her reaction to how Medusa had behaved? The poor exile was to suffer her fate forever as a mortal changed into the most unfortunate monster. Passionate dialogue ran incredibly well, in timing, and had a great innocence about proceedings. They had the gods on the go with a flavour of naivety very appropriate to the Myth of the Greek gods.

With this fresh retelling capably underway and with the braided hair universally worn, the play was never about doubt but about fact. We found it very learned as they hurriedly listed many of the hierarchy of the ancient mound with swift and certain deliberation.

As a fan of the genre this play went well beyond any frivolity nor had it a need for farce. Instead it was seamless and free from the faults of mortals, but resoundingly it felt like a good and bright production; fun, games, truth, fear, were all on show with the togetherness of the happy medium of a very well written plural play.

I enjoyed it greatly and would not substitute it for anything, very worth your while as it sparkled on a note that reached deep into storytelling, creating a beautifully wonderful play. The title ‘Our Eyes Met’ turned out in its brilliance to offer the tragic aspect of Medusa’s eyes that may never be met again. After it’s repeated ordeal the gods and muses broke character to catch their train, leaving the tale in a ghost-like phenomenon.

Daniel Donnelly

Posted on August 12, 2022, in Fringe 2022. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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