Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Elysium Fields, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott.
“I’ve been promised Greek gods,” a man in the queue says, sceptically, as his ticket is torn. But while there’s plenty of those in this imaginative, atmospheric and involving little show from this young company, it’s the tale of Persephone, her abduction by Hades and transformation from a pawn in men’s plans to taking control of her destiny that’s the focus here. A play entitled She Who Shines Light, it’s being performed on alternate nights as part of a double bill (with Potemkin’s People, by Sam Knights).
Lily Lesser gives a great performance as the woman who “destroys the light”, her quiet understated presence increasingly steely as she grows to embrace her role as Queen of the Underworld. Georgia Moorhouse and Alice Woodhouse’s script is an interesting mix of sensitively conveyed drama undershot with moments of light comedy. More could be done to bring these two quite different styles together and the piece is most successful when it swaps irreverent quips for building to its tense and uplifting conclusion. But as Persephone manipulates those who would control her to achieve power it’s an inspiring and uplifting conclusion to a story that, despite being conceived so long ago, is made to feel fresh.
Greenside (Venue 231) until 29 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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