Aeneid

Today was one of those days where it’s kinda hard to find anything positive to write about. That’s not to say the day wasn’t good. I just didn’t do much of anything and then I went to a show. I left feeling kinda meh, but that’s not the shows fault. It was really great.

Tonight we saw another Fringe production, The Aeneid. An interesting revamp of the story of Aeneas of Troy and his quest to found Rome. The show follows a group of players as they prepare to perform Aeneid in ancient Rome. Aeneas speaks through the character of Aenin, allowing her to create a new and unique translation of his past life. However things become a bit difficult when she develops feelings for Diana, the actress playing Dido who was Aeneas’ lover. The two wish to change history and make it so Aeneas and Dido live happily ever after, but the world desires chaos and it can’t be the perfect dream we all wish it could be.

I was really intrigued by this show. I was really impressed to discover that it came from Improv theater. The show started out with the actors and the designers just making things up as they went along as it slowly formed into the show we saw tonight. It was made very similar to a production of Romeo and Juliet I had done last summer, where we had a structure for the scenes and improvised. (Everyone lived in our production) At some points it was fairly obvious that the actors were just making things up, but they still had an incredible production! I had a few knit picky things that I didn’t like, but over all it was a great show.

The ending was moving and crushing, which I feel would’ve been clearer if the audience had a stronger knowledge of Roman theater. The Romans were obsessed with sacrifices and on stage murders, fights, etc. So none of the fighting or killing in plays were fake. People were murdered for entertainment. At the end of the performance of Aeneid, Turnus and Aeneas must fight to the death. In Ancient Rome, that would’ve been a real fight where the actor playing Turnus would actually die. Knowing this makes the ending of the show that much more heartbreaking. It’s not just a role for the actor/actress to play, it was their death sentence.

The show was very entertaining and moving. Definitely an interesting view for anyone who has the chance to see it.

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