Musical review: Lysistrata: The Disco Vaudeville Rock’n’Roll Musical

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Lysistrata: The Disco Vaudeville Rock’n’Roll Musical at Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), reviewed by Fiona Shepherd

Disco, vaudeville and rock’n’roll? This game troupe from Western Connecticut State University are going for a broad appeal in their musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy about the battle of the sexes, which oscillates stylistically between classical language and 21st-century colloquialisms without too glaring a clash.

Lysistrata tells the bawdy tale of one woman’s mission to end the Peloponnesian War by persuading the women of Athens and beyond to withhold sexual favours from their husbands until they commit to peace. It’s a crazy plan but it just might work – cue the world’s only disco ode to chastity.

Anna Louise Morse makes a stately Lysistrata and she is supported by some strong voices in this large ensemble, especially the respective leaders of the male and female choruses who make like an elderly John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

But overall, the execution could do with some work. You can see the concentration etched on the faces of the performers as they hoof through some slightly stilted group numbers such as a lumbering tap dance-off. It must be hard to get into that disco vaudeville rock’n’roll zone at 11:30 in the morning, and in the end Lysistrata is not as much of a romp as the riotous material warrants.

MORE INFO: Lysistrata: The Disco Vaudeville Rock’n’Roll Musical is at Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

Originally published in The Scotsman

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