According to a NYTimes review, the “experimental Irish theatre company” (Brantley) Peter Pan has staged a show called “Oedipus Loves You,” which takes the original Greek story of Oedipus and places it in modern day suburbia. The story, told in “latter-day drag” (Brantley), opens up telling the audience that the show is meant to be shown “in an age of postmodern theory and the birth of postdramatic theatre” (Brantley), and it aims to examine “the metaphysical,political, and quasi-religious aspects of the Oedipus myth as it has been applied in recent theater history” (Brantley). We talked a lot in class about the importance of theatre to Athenian life, and how ALL theatre performed back then had a religious context. Peter Pan’s production does exactly that, but molds the well-known myth for a modern day audience. Someone going to see a original production of Oedipus in Ancient Athens would probably be going for the same reasons someone would go see Peter Pan’s re-staging of Oedipus Loves You; for commentary on political and religious issues in the safe space of an artistic sanctuary. According to Brantley, the actual production of the story is amusing in relation to the themes of the original story; the major difference being the show’s use of Sigmund Freud’s major concepts, like the Oedipus Complex, which obviously wasn’t talked about while Ancient Athenians went to see the play. As the show is shown in modern times, it has become much more of a comedic story then a drama, due to the absurdity of events in the original story. Ancient Athenians might have seen events in Oedipus as common occurrences, but Peter Pan’s production plays on the how amusing the events are, and “also considers the tenacity of the hold of that story on the Western imagination” (Brantley).
Brantley, Ben. “Oedipus Loves You.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 May 2008, www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/theater/reviews/24oedi.html?mcubz=0
Camille, Team Diana