Adelaide Fringe 2017 Theatre Review: Anteworld

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What: Anteworld

When: March 13-18th, 6pm.

Where: Bakehouse Theatre

Who: Mark Tripodi (writer), Matthew Chapman (director)

Anteworld is a feminist reimagining, brilliant retelling of Eurydice’s plight in the underworld, or “anteworld”, as Persephone corrects her. This charming original play written by Mark Joseph Tripodi is a small, beautiful and poignant production that gives agency to Eurydice (Amellia Lee Hammat), a voice to the often underrepresented Persephone (Gemma Neall), and a new take on eternal damnation and the recurrent torture of Pirithous (Josh Mensch).

The writing is quick-witted and features some amusing verbal sparring between characters. However, some lines felt mumbled or thrown out during the heat of the action. This small gripe can be forgotten in light of the emotions and empathy which the characters elicit in the audience, with Persephone being the strongest lead. Her story, and Eurydice’s, defies the strictly patriarchal world of Ancient Greece with writing that is surprisingly warm and genuine, albeit strangely existential. Persephone’s reinterpreted character; the abrupt, but maternal way she conducted Eurydice, buts up against the melodrama of Greek mythology and was the driving force of dark comedic value of the production.

A good fluency in Ancient Greek mythos is advised, as the references in this production are intricate. This dark comedy is highly recommended; keep an eye on rising star Mark Tripodi and his future endeavours. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 1.17.45 pmPhoto from Anteworld. Photo credit: Dylan Rowen

The set was simple, small, personal. It featured Greek statuettes, tea, chairs and books. The tea became a key plot point, as when you eat the food or drink of the underworld, you’re bound to the laws of that anteworld. The history books reinforce the intertextuality of the production, Eurydice’s story is continually retold, hashed out, and changed. Persephone points out the double standards of history:

‘Don’t you know your history? A woman attaches herself to a talented man, and – well, nothing good can end up happening, not in our world. Goodness, merely existing as a woman in this world is cruel. It’s all in those books. Miserable, I told you. Miserable things.’

But in this production, agency is given back to those marginalised in myth through biting satire, dark comedy and some clever textual references.

4.5/5 stars

Dylan Rowen

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