C Venue 34, Edinburgh
Christopher Adam’s loose adaptation of Aristphanes’ classic comedy – the tale of a prototype feminist who instigates a ‘sex strike’ in an attempt to gain more rights for women – brings the story bang up to date and sets it against Greece’s recent bailout by the IMF, an intriguing premise that really pays dividends (ha ha!). The four cast members work really hard to depict nine characters between them and largely pull it off, playing both genders with confidence, while Louisa Hollway is a striking, memorable Lysistrata, but if only they could have had the luxury of a couple more actors to take care of some of the minor roles! There were some problems on the night we viewed the play with the rather shonky set (a clothes drier that seemed to possess a life of its own and a rug on a polished floor that seemed like an accident waiting to happen) but these are minor niggles. Bringing contemporary issues like the economic crisis and trolling on social media into the action, breathe new life into the play and make it seem incredibly prescient. After a brief run of disappointments, this one redressed the balance.