As we packed into what felt like the basement of the Old Fitz Theatre in Woolloomooloo, other-worldly figures glared toward the space we occupied in tiered seating angled towards a pool of questionable substance. Smoke billowed across the liquid as we took our seats and dared to stare back at these symbols of mystery, their bodies sparsely clad and glistening with mystique. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but we instantly knew that we were in for a treat.
Director, Dino Dimitriadis, has re-imagined Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses for the 40th Anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. We were lucky enough to catch the start of the season last week with shows running up until the 10th of March. If you read no further than this line then take heed of the following: you need to see this play, it's stunning.
Dimitriadis’ production led us through ancient, mythological times draped in darkness and light showcasing the raw elements of human nature, weaved with touches of humour, pain and sexuality.
The cast pushed traditional gender roles to the side and turned a queer lens onto common Greek tales from Roman poet Ovid, to create an alluring and primal performance that truly took our breath away.
Beauty was found in all aspects of the performance, as strong bodies curled their way through an adult’s industrial climbing frame echoing the calls of one another and of Ovid's original poems. The contrast between lithe bodies and rigid steel became less noticeable as the actors appeared to float effortlessly through the body of water at the stage's heart.
We were mesmerised by Sam Marques' angelic choral piece, as spoken word became a distant hum, like that of a siren drawing mortals toward the water. The golden hue lighting the stage complemented Marques' voice, forcing us, for just a moment, to look at only him.
David Helman’s pole performances were the highlight of the entire production, reinforcing the notion that to be silent does not mean to be absent. David commanded the space in ways ranging from gentle to fierce, with unspoken power. The beauty and physical strength that he brought to the stage was indescribable; at one point our mouths literally hung open.
Other stand outs included: Deborah Galanos, Bardiya McKinnon, Diana Popovska and Sebastian Robinson who all delivered a powerful stage presence and an unwavering connection to their characters. During their monologues, we couldn't help but fixate on every word that fell from their mouths.
Zoe Terakes, Hannah Raven, Jonny Hawkins and Claudette Clarke each brought a soothing tone to the stage - whether that be through a fervent solo spiel or a strong backdrop position conveyed through only a simple look - they too had us transfixed.
Ben Pierpoint’s sound design was effortlessly stunning, as if Apollo himself had stitched it together. We drifted into a world entirely unknown with great desire and intrigue, as Benjamin Brockman cultivated a light show that perfectly complemented the sounds and movements before us.
Congratulations go out to each and every human involved in this production, it was truly spectacular. But don't just take our word for it, buy your tickets here. You've got until the 10th of March.
This performance was produced by Apocalypse Theatre Company in association with Red Line Productions.
Images: Robert Catto
Madeleine Sharpe needs precisely thirty-seven alarms to wake up in the morning. Likes: coffee, and a cheeky boogie in a pair of sparkly heels. Give her a kilo of cheese and she'll love* you forever. *love not guaranteed.
Kate Neilson is the founding editor at Twenty Something Humans. She likes eating toast in bed and a sipping on a G&T in the afternoon sun. She can be lurked @katiepotatierose.