“Tales from Ovid” Creates a Beautiful Imaginary Landscape

Emily White ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

Mac Young as Phaethon in “Ted Hughes’ Tales From Ovid.” Photo Credit: Jenni Wylie.

“Latin poetry” and “sexy” are not phrases often used in the same sentence, but Whistler in the Dark’s production of Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid inspires just that.

This experimental production uses an ensemble of just five extraordinarily talented actors, four silks used for acrobatics and visuals, and improvised, actor-created music to tell ten of Ovid’s most entrancing myths. Tales from Ovid is based on Ted Hughes’ award-winning 1997 translation of Latin poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a series of poems relating stories of love, lust, violence, and the gods, from Roman mythology. Ted Supple and Simon Reade’s dramatic adaptation of these timeless tales, as interpreted by Whistler in the Dark’s artistic team, make them still relevant today.

Tales from Ovid is visually stunning, acrobatically astounding, emotionally shocking, sexy, and humorous. It explores the full gamut of human emotions under the most extreme circumstances, taking the audience on a journey from mankind’s discovery of his place in the world to the darkest and most violent depths of the human psyche. The spatial setup of the actors and minimal set between two sets of audience seats allows the audience to become a part of this journey, and a part of the performance itself. It forces the audience to watch and be watched – both by the audience sitting directly across from them, and the actors inches away from their faces. This makes the show intense for both the actors and the audience, leaving the audience feeling probably as emotionally drained as the actors after the show. It is a self-reflective, exploratory experience, and one you do not want to miss out on.

This show contains some explicit material and is recommended for mature audiences age 16 and older. It runs through November 18 at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box in the Paramount Center. For tickets and more information, please visit https://artsemerson.org/Online/Ovid.

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