The St. Thomas Early English Society’s Lysistrata is a high-energy and raunchy comedy that sends audiences on a wild adventure from beginning to end. Based on the Greek comedy of the same name, director and adapter Liam Browne managed to successfully bring new life into this classic play and yet still manages to throw in some clever nods to the source material.
In Browne’s adaptation, Lysistrata decides that women need to withhold sex from their husbands to put an end to the Cold War. With such an absurd plot line, the play relied heavily on the performance of every actor on stage. Without the right comedic timing, the play could have easily fallen apart. Luckily for everyone involved, the actors were exceptionally hilarious.
One of the things that stood out the most was the chemistry between the cast members. Everyone appeared to work well with each other and seemed to be enjoying themselves, and that energy shone through their performances.
Leading and background characters alike did a marvelous job in hitting comedic marks just the right way. Subtle facial expressions and background action brought a little extra life to Lysistrata and made audiences want to watch them as much as the main protagonists. Silas McDonald seemed to be a hit since audience members were roaring with laughter at his small actions and short but humorous dialogue.
Hannah Blizzard, who was the protagonist Lysistrata, was one of the best parts of the play. From the moment that Blizzard appeared on stage, the audience knew that they were in for a treat. With her lively and brilliant performance, it was nearly impossible to look away. Other notable performances included Mariana Amero for her role of Calonice, as well as Peter Boyce who played the commissioner of public safety.
Through the use of hair and makeup by Bella Baldin, costumes by Jarrod Dunlop and set design by Andrew Smith, the stage of the Ted Daigle Auditorium gave off a 1960s-style vibe that sucked the audience in. Little details such as an old-fashioned bike in the background with a white picket fence gave off that olden-day aura. Along with the style of hair, iconic red lipstick of the era and period-perfect costumes of characters like the Enemy Ambassador, portrayed by John Matheson, audience members were taken into the world of Lysistrata.
Lysistrata certainly lived up to the explicit nature of the play in all the best ways. From vulgar language to a slightly tamer Magic Mike performance in one scene, Lysistrata was a blast from beginning to end. The play had audience roaring in their seat with laughter from some of the crude humour, showcasing how it was not family friendly but perfect for university students who wanted to sit back and unwind.