BAC, Jason and the Argonauts

Review in Issue 16-1 | Spring 2004

Jason and the Argonauts is a complex and meandering tale full of journeying, adventure, gods and goddesses, monsters, miracles, prophecies, and dirty little squawking harpies who shit everywhere. To bring it to the stage is no small challenge, but Tom Morris and Carl Heap’s lo-tech interpretation was perfectly pitched. Jason’s ship was made out of a couple of picnic tables. The notorious clashing rocks that Jason has to find his way through were two rusty buckets, Hera flew through the air, as all goddesses should, but she did so in hilarious stops and starts that highlighted all too plainly the jerky mechanism that winched her. The clever thing about this simplicity of stage set and props was that, yes, at times it made us laugh, yet it also helped rather than hindered the suspension of our disbelief. Because we were in on the secret from the start, we were right there, with Jason’s crew, sailing the high seas, singing sea shanties and dreaming of the day we would return triumphant to our lost city.

You only have to add to this cosy, convivial air of inclusion the surreal edge that the 1930s backdrop gave the production, with a Hera and Zeus straight out of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’, a Hercules in fetching cricket whites, and a sullen Eros with tennis visor and badminton racket, to understand the headiness of the mixture that was brewed for us.

Jason and the Argonauts was the most entertaining, heart-warming and exciting theatrical production that I have seen in a long time – and I’m not often so free with my praise.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-1
p. 28