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Orpheus/Eurydice

"passionate and precise performers"

Audrey review: This is the Orpheus and Eurydice of Greek myth and storytelling at its most immediate.

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Orpheus/Eurydice

Date: 9 Sep 2019

Staged in the downstairs space of the Old 505, this is the Orpheus and Eurydice of Greek myth and storytelling at its most immediate.

British writer Alexander Wright gives this oft-told tale a contemporary spin. Our Orpheus is Dave, a regular guy with colour vision deficiency (which is why he favours boldly checked shirts when he’s out with the lads) and a knack for singing Bruce Springsteen songs a cappella.

Eurydice is Leni, the girl who wanted to be a superhero when she was a kid, then fell in love with a charmer named Ari.

Years and relationships later, when Leni and Dave’s eyes lock in a blacked-out karaoke bar, they fall instantly and wholly in love.

And you know, presumably, what happens next. The trip to Hades thing. The ‘don’t look back or else’ thing. What may surprise you, however, is how hard this story can twang your heartstrings when it comes to you point blank from passionate and precise performers.

The name Eurydice, of course, is especially resonant to Australian ears and the events of June 13, 2018 colour the experience considerably and poignantly.

The burly duo of Phil Grainger (guitar and songwriter) and Tom Figgins relate Orpheus. In a separately ticketed show (programmed after Orpheus), Eurydice is performed by Louise Williams and Yoshika Colwell (guitar and electronics).

The prose has a definite pulse, which occasionally resolves into something approaching rap. Grainger’s songwriting wells up from the folk pop tradition and generously twangs the heartstrings. Colwell’s voice is marvellous and Williams is a very elegant spinner of a story.

Each show is substantial enough to stand on it own but ideally, you should make a double bill of the evening. The twin perspectives on the tale knit them tightly together while expanding their scope with Eurydice’s side of the story benefiting strongly from the agency accorded to her.

A delightful evening.

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