Orpheus is not a Myth in Bali

If you love old myths and legends, you undoubtedly know the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, legendary and tragic lovers of antiquity. It is one of the most famous and beloved Greek myths, about love and passion, but also about the weaknesses of the human spirit. Orpheus was born in Thrace, the son of the sun god Apollo and the muse Calliope. Apollo gave his son a lyre and taught him how to play. Orpheus was extraordinarily gifted and his music was un-resistable to humans and animals; even trees and rocks were entranced with his music. His fame was such that he was asked to join Jason and the Argonauts as their voyage would take them past the spot of those infamous Sirens, the ones that sang mesmerising songs and so caused the sailors to shipwreck their boats. Orpheus’ lyre music overcame the lure of the Sirens’ bewitching songs and they sailed safely past.

Soon after Orpheus married Eurydice, an oak nymph whom he loved with a strong passion. But the lovers were star crossed and on their wedding day Eurydice stepped on a viper while dancing to her husband’s music. She was bitten and died instantly. Orpheus was distraught and desperate and tried to bring her back from the dead with his enchanting music. He travelled to the Underworld where he played and sang so mournfully that his music softened the heart of Hades, the ruler of the Underworld and he was allowed to take Eurydice back to the world of the living on condition that he must walk in front of her and not look back until both had reached the upper world. But Orpheus began to suspect that Hades had deceived him and wanted to make sure Eurydice was indeed following him. Just as he reached the portals of Hades and daylight, he turned around to check, and because Eurydice had not yet crossed the threshold, she vanished back into the Underworld and was lost to him.

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has been a theme in a number of other myths and tales and there are some interesting universal cultural parallels to be found in the Japanese tale of Izanagi and Izanami, the Mayan story of Itzamna and Ixchel, the Indian myth of Savitri and Satyavan and the biblical story of Lot and his wife when escaping from Sodom.

The story has been adapted for the theatre and popularised in movies, operas, musical interpretations and modern literature. Black Orpheus, a 1959 movie by Marcel Camus sets the story in a favela in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. Jean Cocteau created Orphic Trilogy over a 30-year period and Philip Glass created the chamber opera Orpheé in 1991. Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, David Almond, Richard Powers and other authors have rewritten the story in novels and strips.

And now ORPHEUS, a very special award winning contemporary UK production, a critically acclaimed and sell-out smash hit play, all dressed up in a modern version is coming to Bali. ORPHEUS was created in 2016 by the Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre with words by Alexander Wright and music by Phil Grainger and has been touring Europe, Asia and Australia to be performed to sell-out crowds. The production bills itself as ‘a modern telling of an ancient myth, a tale of impossible, death defying love told through hair raising spoken word and soaring soul music, woven in a modern world of dive bars, side streets and ancient Gods’.

A synopsis of the play tells us that Dave is single and turning 30. He’s stood at the bar. Eurydice is a tree nymph. And Bruce Springsteen is on the jukebox.

The play will tour all around Bali from 22 to 30 April so check your favourite location and get your tickets pronto. It’s bound to be a magical and unforgettable evening.

Get more information on Facebook /orpheusontour and Instagram @orpheusontour

Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.tickettailor.com/events/theysentmetoyou

Prices are 200k Early Bird (where still available) and 300k General Admission.


* Best in Fringe WINNER (Dunedin Fringe Festival, 2019)

* City of Literature Beyond Words WINNER (Dunedin Fringe Festival, 2019)

* Best Pure Theatre – overall WINNER (Adelaide Fringe Festival, 2019)

* Best Theatre – Week One WINNER (Perth Fringe World, 2019)

* Best Theatre Award – weekly WINNER (Adelaide Fringe, 2018)

* Summerhall Award WINNER (VAULT Festival, 2018)


By Ines Wynn

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