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OEDIPUS REX

Oedipus in a roundabout

RUDOLF HERMES / Westdeutsche Allgemeine

2002-07-02

Sophocles in the festival “Theater der Welt”

WAZ Duisburgh. We have known since the times of Freud that small boys are being bothered by an Oedipus complex. A Lithuanian director Oskaras Korsunovas has made a conclusion out of it: Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex” staged by him is set on a playground. The playground, designed by Jurate Paulekaite, is the place of symbols: a roundabout turns into a wheel of fortune and geometrical climbing frames are the ruins of a block of flats at the same time. A special meaning has been given over to a seesaw: it’s an instrument of torture, a throne and the hands of Oedipus’ life clock.
Korsunovas turns this playground into a many-layer children theatre-nightmare: Theban chorus consists of grey Mickey Mice, a coryphaeus is a huge Teddy with a voice of a robot. Clairvoyant Teiresius is buried in a sandpit, where he’s lying dressed in black latex.
The music, accompanying almost all the antique play, gives the staging a nature of opera and ballet. The parts of speech are highlighted or shaded by drums and chorus is singing or talking in time. When the actors start dancing or when the percussion music points out even the slightest gesture, then it’s a perfect theatre of choreography.
The music gives a strong archaic form to the creation; however, the same rhythm of longer dialogues is tiring. In the second part, where Oedipus finds out his origins, the strain of action becomes more active. This is when the actors reveal themselves – what they have is the text only, there’s no music.
“Oedipus Rex” is a performance of majestic images.
RUDOLF HERMES