Review – The Bacchae (with Alan Cumming!) – Lyric Hammersmith

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Work, work, work. After a day like today, it’s really hard to get cheered up for a show. But, hey, it was Alan Cumming in the Bacchae, at the Lyric Hammersmith (just up the street from my job) – so there was some sort of light at the end of the long tunnel.

The production values were really good, Alan Cumming was convincing as a sexy, arrogant, gold-lame-kilt wearing god, and the themes of “we must control the women’s sexuality” and “there are times when you need to move beyond society’s limits” resonated with me. But … the songs the women sang did didn’t make sense (they didn’t add enough to make it worth the effort, even if their voices were good), and the entire, painful, endless 20 or so minutes after “the mom” appeared with her son’s head just … sapped my will to live. Okay, really, it wasn’t that painful, but when you start doing your budget in your head and you’re at a live show, something’s going wrong. I like Greek exposition (“I went offstage and saw this thing we can’t possibly show due to our limited budget!”), but I just … well, Grampa just stumbled through his lines without a bit of love, and the fact of the matter is

ONCE THE DUDE IS DEAD THE STORY IS OVER.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. That said, it’s not even 2 hours long (no intermission), so if you rock on Alan Cumming and you’re clear that you’re going to see a Greek tragedy, and you’re still interested, well, by all means, go. Otherwise, please go see Venus as a Boy just right away because I was NOT doing my budget in my head while I was watching that show at all.

(This review is for a performance that took place on September 6th, 2007.)

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One Response to “Review – The Bacchae (with Alan Cumming!) – Lyric Hammersmith”

  1. Review – Phedre – National Theatre « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] formula. I remembered partway through the show that the last time I saw one of these plays, even the presence of Alan Cumming half naked could not save the evening for me. Consider yourself […]

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