Gogmagogs, Troy Town

Review in Issue 14-1 | Spring 2002

Troy Town takes its inspiration from labyrinths. In a cross between a TV game show and a computer game, the contestants attempt to find a way out of the labyrinth while illustrating the moods with their instruments: the Gogmagogs are seven classically trained string players. The set has many entrances and exits performers – mainly couples – appear from in various states of agitation. They call to each other, implying relationships which at times reminded me of the star-crossed lovers in the forest outside Athens in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The music, created and played by the performers, was interspersed with a very simplistic, repetitive text. At the peak of the show masks are introduced and a Minotaur bull with an erect penis appears which then mates with a cow, while the other members of the cast, wearing horns, play the music and dance around. The ending is a ritualistic slaying of the bull, then the performers/players are told they can move onto level two!

This was the Gogmagog's sixth show – and the first in which the music was composed by the company in the rehearsal process. I left the theatre with admiration for the way these musicians moved around the stage while playing their instruments. But I wondered what they were trying to achieve with this awkward mix of genres, and they desperately need a writer if they want to pursue text in their shows. Having seen a couple of previous shows – their collaboration with the composer John Tavener was very good – Troy Town was a disappointing experience.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-1
p. 28