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The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus Review – Apollonian and Dyonisian These Days –

This remake of Tony Harrison’s Ancient Greek Satyr is an exquisite play for our times, where brazen sexuality, prank and drunkenness beautifully articulate in a 75 minute play

by Alice Della Bona 

The Trackers of Oxhyrhyncus Stage

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus was originally written in 1988 for a one-off performance at The Delphi Theatre in Greece and subsequently ran at The National Theatre in 1990. Directed by Jimmy Walters and commissioned for the Finborough Theatre, this is the first London production in nearly 30 years.

Egypt, 1907. Two archaeologists, Hunt (Richard Graves) and Grenfell (Tom Purbeck) are searching for ancient fragments of poetry and plays, next to an old rubbish heap. While the first is meekly looking for scraps of petitions, Grenfell seems in the grip of a feverish obsession; which in true “tragedy-style” hides a pissed-off god ready to dump his rage on earth.

Purbeck’s superb interpretation drags the spectator through an intense journey into the deepness of human frailties when Apollo takes possession of his mind.

The furious God orders to unearth a lost Satyr play from Sophocles leading the characters to transfigure into the story they have discovered.

From Grenfell’s “enthusiasm” to a chorus of clog-dancing satyrs with mock dangling penises the story evolves between laughs and tears.

Full of contemporary references to an elitist/divine society that self-celebrates and secludes, The Trackers is a thrilling piece of work where the bald scenography and the skills of its performers will give you  a totally pleasant experience.

Where and When: Finborough Theatre until April, 22 

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