Printable CopyANTEWORLD
Bakehouse Theatre
Until 18 Mar 2017

Review by Paige Mulholland

In Greek mythology, most of the stories are from the perspective of the gods, the heroes, and the men. There are hundreds of legends detailing the triumphs of Zeus, the struggles of Hercules and the purity of Orpheus’ love, but what about the women who stand in the background of every myth and tapestry? With its refreshing take on the traditional stories of Orpheus, Hades and Pirithous, “Anteworld” shows us what it’s like to live in a man’s world and die in a man’s underworld.

Both Pirithous and Eurydice are trapped in the afterlife, with nobody but Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, for company. Eurydice can attempt to follow her beloved Orpheus back to the land of the living, but Persephone and Pirithous have spoiled the ending for her – will she still go, knowing her fate is sealed? Is she better off knowing the truth, or will she drink the water of the underworld and go back to blissful ignorance? Why does Pirithous seem like he’s seen it all before, and were his feelings for Theseus really just friendship and brotherhood? While “Anteworld” does not depict these myths traditionally, it certainly keeps the audience guessing until the end, with a mix of sardonic humour and hopeless despair.

“Anteworld” is best enjoyed by those with a good understanding of Greek mythology; those whose only experience of Ancient Greece is Disney’s “Hercules” (this reviewer included) will be playing catch-up to keep up with the plot, especially at first. However the stylistic, circular structure of the show ensures everyone is on the same page by the end.

Although the dialogue occasionally feels a little mumbly, overall the cast is consistently in character and certainly performance-ready. For a production where the cast and creatives are all young, local artists, the show demonstrates a surprising level of maturity and a good sense of knowing when to stop; where some Fringe writers might feel the pressure to pad their show to fit an hour, writer Mark Tripodi has kept his show short and direct, without any dragging or filler.

A strong, local show with a fresh take on millennia-old stories, Anteworld is an exciting addition to this year’s Fringe.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)