Fringe Review : Echo & Narcissus

This play is evidently pretty old, first found around 6AD I believe. It was mostly narrated by one player, while the rest of the cast played multiple roles. As all the cast were dressed in very similar garb, this wasn’t a major problem. Most “scenes” were  introduced by the narrator and only one or two of the cast had major roles in each scene, the rest providing crowds or atmosphere.

The show was a mixture of theatre and dance, and the cast managed to combine these disciplines extremely well, no idea how they didn’t run out of breath at times!

I don’t think the plot is particularly important as it’s fairly straight forward.  “Echo” (a nymph) is a chatterbox/storyteller she often told stories to the Goddess Hera, while Hera’s husband (Zeus) seduced Nymphs. When Hera finds out about Echo’s duplicity she curses Echo by taking away her voice, except to repeat other peoples words. When Echo meets Narcissus (who only cares for himself) she cannot attract him and broken hearted she fades away until only her voice is left. Later Narcissus sees himself in a pool of water, falls in love with his own reflection, falls into the pond and drowns (oops!), his body is never found, only a flower.

Echo was cleverly played by two players at the same time, moving together and taking turns in saying their lines. This I assume is part of the “old style” theatre going back to ancient Greek theatre (perhaps) that the entire production mimicked (I’m guessing).

It was very entertaining and rather different from modern day theatre that seems to insist on complex plots and characters, this production was really all about the players entertaining the audience with their talent.

Echo hugging “herself”

Two other players

Echo (one half of)

The Goddess Hera

I can appreciate that this would not be to everybody’s taste, but I did find the combination of music and the players skill intriguing.

In summary a very enjoyable and entertaining show.

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