Oedipussy at the Rose
Brighton-based theatre company Spymonkey have received great acclaim for their hilarious shows, including Moby Dick, Bless and Stiff. Now they’re treating us to their uproarious farcical spoof of the Greek classic Oedipus, which they call Oedipussy. Featuring a cast of just four actors, the Python-esque tragicomedy contains the funny and outrageous: accidental incest, mutilation, nudity, dodgy jokes and romping sex scenes… you name it, Spymonkey have got it.
Hot, hard and in-your-face, writer Carl Grose holds nothing back in this mockery where Sophocles meets James Bond. The cast have an overwhelming energy and stage presence that causes the audience to forget it’s just four people they’re watching. Petra Massey in particular (playing both The Sphinx and Jocasta) gives an hilarious performance, constantly falling over her ridiculous, over-the-top costumes, putting her Sphinx costume on backwards and mocking the conventions of the Greek tragedy in chucklesome asides: “I’m just going to quickly jump out of character, and share with you my inner monologue”. The cast often step out of their roles to express their disappointment with the acting career they’ve fallen into, stopping mid-performance to hand out ”business cards” for their new companies, which leave the crowd howling with laughter. But this means of hilarity fits perfectly in line with the story and structure of the tragedy – the actors are caged by external forces beyond their control, just like the mere mortals in the play who are trapped by the fate the gods have decided.
Stephan Kreiss (a 51-year-old German man) plays the character Oedipus (a 17-year-old Greek boy), another humorous jibe at traditional Greek theatre. Even the shocking suicide of Jocasta has its funny elements, an interesting juxtaposition that leaves the audience in tears of laughter questioning their own morals. Numbers like Leprosy’s Not Funny give the audience a real abdominal workout at the sheer ridiculousness and outrageousness of it all. Original parodies of Bond-like film scores by Spymonkey’s Toby Park add to the brilliant irony of the show.
This pant-wettingly hilarious performance will leave you aching with laughter and wanting more. Spymonkey are really pushing the boundaries of modern theatre. Outrageously naughty, Oedipussy is one you cannot afford to miss.
Oedipussy is on at the Rose Theatre until 19th October 2013, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch a trailer for Oedipussy here: