Review by Manna Marvel – Argonautika presented by BYTES
It may just be that BYTES harnessed the ability to perform, as well as an epic theatrical event, the power of *meteorokinesis this evening. Perhaps it was an invocation of one of the most powerful characters; the sorceress descendent from Helios, the magical and malevolent Medea. Whatever the weather and despite storm warnings, the show must and did go on. Intermittent light showers did not deter the fierce, highly polished, and professional cast from creating a memorable performance. They prevailed through the elements, and the results were magnificent.
The hero’s quest at the core of Argonautika draws on ancient epic origins, though the driving conflict (outcasts unite!) and tension (will they really win?) remains relevant. Originally written in the classical style of Homer (not Simpson, the Golden Age Greek version) the story was reimagined here with surprising and delightful incorporation of elements of theatrical conventions (performed in an open setting, a ‘chorus’ of performers who narrate the action, actors playing multiple roles, elegant robes and use of decorative facial elements to portray characters’ key element or emotion). Audiences love a perilous quest and richly complex characters. Argonautika delivered this.
The choice of setting was inspired. The water park at Nambour council pool transformed in different scenes into the mighty sea vessel Argos, a series of mysterious islands and the treacherous passages between, and finally a celestial gallery. Actresses and actors explored and incorporated the setting highly effectively, as they played out conflict and clashes among Goddesses, Gods, mythical creatures, and mere mortals. The complexity of the characters was portrayed, and the quest for the sought-after Golden Fleece, while successful, made us wonder – was it worth it? The hero’s quest is at the core of awesome storytelling, stage and cinema. Tonight’s heroines and heroes were the cast and crew of Argonautika.
*(controlling the weather)
Thanks so much Manna for joining us on this epic adventure on a rainy night.
Argonautika was a rIveting play of loss & betrayal brought to life by talented actors, neat costumes & a novel location. So captivating I saw it twice. Bytes Theatre Company never disappoint.