Ponton Theatre, Bathurst
"This is an accomplished, inventive and genre-bending production that deserves our attention. It also proves that regional towns and universities can produce experimental theatre."
-Suzie Gibson, artshub.com.au
Check out the full review here
Directed by Adam Deusien
Produced by CYCLE Productions and the School of Communication & Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University
Performed, designed and managed by Final Year Theatre/Media students, 2015
Developed and performed by third year Theatre/Media students at Charles Sturt University and directed by Adam Deusien, The Bacchae is a reimagining of the Ancient Greek tragedy that interrogates a contemporary world obsessed with the ‘self’. Dionysus, a God, returns to the city of Thebes and enchants its people, but Pentheus, their ruler is greatly angered by his peoples’ worship of the new God, and is confronted by Dionysus and his Bacchants. Dionysus wants to punish Pentheus and his family for their defiance of him, but his plot for destruction may leave tragedy in his wake.
This production of The Bacchae proposes that modern culture has replaced any sense of spirituality with a worship of self. Through the dominance of marketing and branding culture, we have become far more interested in self-promotion than self-investigation. Through social media, each one of us is trying to make our self into a God, every ‘like’ on our selfies is another prayer from a devoted follower.
By using the language of pop music, music videos, the fashion runway and social media, this version of The Bacchae is a sensorial rollercoaster. It’s a vibrant, energetic, loud, colourful and narcissist world, from the slick, sexy, cool Dionysus and Bacchae, to the narcissism of a conservative government that arrogantly applies a narrow worldview across the entire whole nation. Neither of which seems capable of self-reflection. Both implode. We are stuck in a world of all heat but no light and the outcome in The Bacchae is disastrous.
Photography by Anthony Kavanagh and TJ Lee