Death in the Pantheon - 107 Projects - Sydney Fringe (NSW)
Presented as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival
Reviewed by Claira Prider
107 Projects Redfern
Upper Crass Theatre Company
Played Thursday 7th - Saturday 9th September, 2023
For Full Fringe Festival Tickets, visit: https://sydneyfringe.com/whats-on/
- A heightened murder mystery comedy that provides a solid hour of laughs -
Written by James Hartley, Death in the Pantheon is a murder mystery play debuting at Sydney Fringe as a part of the Limitless Festival supporting artists with a disability. Set amongst the Greek gods, when one of the gods is murdered, Athena must solve the mystery of who dunnit before someone else gets killed. Directed by James Hartley and Assistant director Neil Parikh, Death in the Pantheon is an Upper Crass Theatre Company production which provides a solid hour of laughs.
Photos supplied by Upper Crass Theatre Company
The stage is bare and white. There are white marble floors, white marble boxes and a drinks trolley covered with a white sheet, all surrounded by a large white fabric backdrop. The work begins with Ares, god of bloodlust, performed by Atlas Adams. He’s over the top and cartoon like, he’s the butt of most jokes and has great comedic pace. Susan Jordan performs the role of Hera, she and Adams bounce off each other with the most magnetic of chemistry. The two of them presented hilarious, caricature like performances which reminded me of the ancestors from the cartoon version of Mulan. Natasha Cheng enters the stage in a white toga playing the main role of Athena. Her stillness and calm, clear characterisation juxtaposes the cartoonish comedy, which is very much needed to ground this giddy, frivolous work.
Dean Tuttle plays Zeus, he’s gruff and dry humoured, alongside Brenton Aimes who performs a very silly Hermes. Cam Ralph plays Poseidon, dressed like a pirate and equipped with a wonky trident, he brought great frivolity to this spirited character. As Dionysus, Kat Tait was hilariously pessimistic and stern in their manner. Jessie Lancaster was charmingly obnoxious and melodramatic as Aphrodite alongside Shiva Chandra as Hephaestus and Bendeguz Devenyi-Botos as Hades.
The writing is silly, easy to follow and very entertaining; the laughs around me were constant. The cast have wonderful ensemble skills, a very cohesive consort which helps to manage the constant high volume, high intensity nature of the work. The stage felt too small for the number of people in the cast, the work was very busy, almost dizzying, and so jam packed with jokes I feel like I’d need to see it again to appreciate it properly. Death in the Pantheon is a very entertaining, fast paced murder mystery comedy.
Plan your Sydney Fringe this September by heading to their website for the extensive list of what's on offer. Visit: https://sydneyfringe.com/whats-on/