BWW Review: OEDIPUS THE TYRANT at Fox Den Theatre Company
A sickness is spreading in Thebes. King Oedipus (KC Ryan) is so certain of their own claim to the throne that they don't ask questions when those who do not support them are rounded up and locked away due to "illness". (Take note of the singular "they" here - this inclusive pronoun is used throughout the show.) Meanwhile, elections are taking place in Thebes and someone has betrayed the royal family - but whom?
OEDIPUS THE TYRANT, based on Sophocles' classic Greek tragedy OEDIPUS THE KING, weaves traditional and modern themes into the story of the King of Thebes. The show is produced by Fox Den Theatre Company, with script adaptation by Christopher Anderson and direction by Nichole Bennette and Christopher Anderson.
This is difficult material for any group to handle, as it intertwines the classic language of the Greek tragedy with more casual, modern dialogue. More than once, key players stumbled over their lines. Some of the blocking of the show was distracting at times, with cast members pacing back and forth across the stage without a clear purpose in their movement. Still, despite these stumbling blocks, the well-developed characters in the show shine through - particularly in the show's second act. Among the cast, the clear audience favorite was Jacob Schatz as Polynices - the even-tempered hipster child of Oedipus. However, each member of the cast gave passionate performances and highlighted the rich characters that make this show so interesting.
The lighting and sound for this show (designed by Lindsey McGowen) were both well-paced and clean. The set itself was relatively simple but did not detract from the character-driven show. The one distraction in the show's design was the costuming, several pieces of which were ill-fitting for the actors. However, it should be mentioned that this is Fox Den Theatre Company's second production - and while there is room to grow, this company certainly has much to be proud of with this show.
Patrons should be aware of the mature and dark themes of OEDIPUS THE TYRANT. Additionally, be warned that there is an element of audience participation - which may be surprising to those who find themselves suddenly more immersed in the story than they expected. But don't let this keep you from attending! Ultimately, this is a thought-provoking experience to remember.
Catch three more shows this weekend! Thursday, 6/13 through Saturday, 6/15 at 8:00 pm. Tickets available for $20 at https://foxdentheatrecompany.com/tickets.