Return of the annual Greek play!Posted: February 3, 2013
* It’s been a few years since they did a Greek drama at Jericho Arts Centre. In the interim, we found a few others to attend, one at UBC, one out of Commercial somewhere. But then the plays dried up completely and we went without.
But! They’re back, at Jericho, and just in time for Valentine’s Day (as, weirdly, they all seem to be). Last night S and I saw Euripides’ Hecuba – a bit of an early Valentine, sure, but babysitters are harder to find than ever, it seems. Looking forward to B being old enough to sit on himself for an evening.
In any case, the play was very well done, very accessible (which is the trick with Greek drama), and had a few creative touches that made it unique and interesting. Ghostly echoes and repetitions added some real sorrow and creepiness to Polydorus’s ghost (and I loved the way his ghost took his body’s place under the shroud). Eerie music added to the choral sections; Scott thought they were too witchy, but I thought it was a good thing.
Anyway, glad to have the dramas back, and I hope this means they’re making it an annual thing again.
* This afternoon we broke out one of the board games we got for Saturnalia – a cooperative game called Zombicide. Supposedly B isn’t old enough to play, but he did very well at keeping track of the rules and not getting too freaked out by all the zombies, although the latter took a few turns and some experience. Honestly, it took a while for me to get used to them too; my first inclination was to hide. But you can’t hide, because the monsters just keep accumulating.
It claims a one-hour play time, but it took us a couple hours anyway. Maybe because we’re new at this and we had to talk a lot of hypotheticals through before we could act. Also, we had one particular opportunity to use a Molotov cocktail that we didn’t take, and one of our characters died later at the hands of that very mob (after some other, unanticipated bad luck).
The game is good fun if you love zombies! I have been protesting for years that I don’t really love zombies, except maybe ironically, but I think I need to just come out and admit that I do. Of course, they’re ubiquitous now; there’s some zombie zeitgeist happening. I’ve read a variety of theories – zombies as dehumanized “other”, zombies as e-mail (no, really: there’s always more) – but the one that resonates with me the most is that zombies represent the ceaseless stream of disaster, violence, and catastrophe we hear about on the news, the relentlessness of war and impending environmental calamity. We fight because we have to, insofar as we can, but it just keeps coming.
Relentless is the word. On that level, the game’s kind of intense, but at the end of the day we get to put the little figurines back in their boxes and pack them away.