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STYX – FRINGE WORLD FESTIVAL 2020

STYX
STYX

STYX
FRINGE WORLD FESTIVAL 2020
GIRLS SCHOOL, 21 to 26 JANUARY

STYX opened last night to a packed audience in the main auditorium at the Girls School, in East Perth.  This is the second year that the hybrid theatre/live music performance has played at Fringe World, having had its debut in Perth at last year’s festival and then going on to play at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in London.  In the intervening period, what was a great show has only gotten better, if memory serves me correctly.

Around The Sound still rates STYX five stars out of five.  Go see it!

You see, STYX is a show all about memory and, watching it again last night, I was challenged in my recollections of some of the details of the show.  Seems my memory has faded in the year since I first saw STYX performed by a transcontinental troupe of musicians and actors, led by Second Body’s Max Barton and Jethro Cooke.  I think, in the intervening period, the show has been tweaked, improved, embellished somewhat.  But I can’t be sure.  All I know is that it was an exceedingly good show last year — Around The Sound gave STYX five stars out of five — and it felt even better this time around.

STYX is a loose retelling of the Orpheus and Euridice myth, and the portion of the show that involves the cast’s collective recollections of the details of this story is worth the price of entry alone.  It’s a nugget of pure comedy and pathos embedded in a show that is about love, loss and the inexorable continuation of life’s force.

STYX also is a family recollection, as Barton has used the story of Orpheus and Euridice to examine his grandparents’ journey through Alzheimer’s disease.  Along the way, we learn about belonging and the connection we all have that somehow endures through collective memories and the magic of quantum physics.

Barton has chosen difficult subject matter, but he deals with it deftly and with great humour and insight.  The staging of the show is simple and incredibly effective, taking a low-tech approach to binding the audience to the performers on stage and bringing back to life characters who have passed into memory. 

The cast includes a cavalcade of Perth’s very best contemporary musicians, including Barton’s sister, Addison Axe, who plays a starring support role alongside her brother.  The songs that complement the narrative and spoken word are a highpoint of the show and carry along the message and feeling of being uplifted, in spite of the difficult subject matter.

STYX is brilliantly conceived show that will intrigue, endear, sadden and uplift you in equal parts.  But, fear not, the performance will leave you on a high and, if you’re lucky, you may just be able to finish the night with a shot of whisky.

Around The Sound still rates STYX five stars out of five.  Go see it!

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Alexis Naylor Alexis Naylor

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