Hell hath no fury like a woman denied
When the women of Greece stage a sex strike for peace, sparks fly and comedy ‘pops-up’ everywhere in Lysistrata, a bawdy anti-war comedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, which has kept audiences laughing – and squirming – for over 2500 years.
Lysistrata is the comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War, as Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to join together to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace treaty (cue anarchy and raucous laughter).
Faithful to the liberating rebellion of Aristophanes’ raunchy and rollicking revolt of the sexes original text, Director Emma Sproule’s not only wild and witty additional contemporary dialogue, but also thought-provoking and revolutionary interpretation, takes this show and audiences, on a journey not to forget.
‘At the time in which it was written, the play was definitely not a feminist play – Aristophanes wanted to comment on the Peloponnesian War and his frustration that it had now been running for 20 years, so he used the idea of it taking women to end the war as a farce. This is how pathetic the leaders of Athens must have been in his eyes, that women, who had no voice in society at the time, could solve it better than they could’, Sproule stated.
This reimagined interpretation looks at the farcical nature Aristophanes intended and turns it on its head with flair, frolicking good fun and underlying powerful messages throughout. It also explores the evolution of the feminist movement and considers how the women of Aristophanes’ Greece had no political voice or influence, but more than two thousand years later, the suffragette movement was born out of circumstances that were all to eerily familiar.
‘This production also highlights the fact that while today women can vote, have a clear and influential voice in society and both perform in and attend the theatre, unlike their ancient Greek counterparts, even now, women are still not equal to men in society and are fighting oppression on several fronts’, added Sproule.
The play also addresses the well-explored notion of ‘The Battle of the Sexes’ with a healthy balance between caricature and truth. This production is, however, a comedy like no other and with many modern variations on the text, it not only makes it more relevant and accessible, but also bawdy and absolutely hilarious. And with the odd song and dance number thrown in, audiences are sure to be thoroughly entertained.
Running October 7–15 at the McClelland College Performing Arts Centre, Karingal, Lysistrata still today has much to offer theatre-goers and society, and if the laughs can shake us hard enough, perhaps they might shake us free of the chains in which a patriarchal society bind us still.
News & Reviews
WHEN the women of ancient Greece stage a sex strike for peace, sparks fly and the comedy “pops-up” everywhere in Lysistrata, a bawdy anti-war comedy by the playwright Aristophanes.
The play kept audiences laughing, and squirming, for 2500 years.
When the women of ancient Greece stage a sex strike for peace, sparks fly and the comedy “pops up” everywhere in Lysistrata…
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