- Gareth K Vile
- 13 August 2019
A strong idea falters in production
A one-woman show written by, and starring, Fadik Sevin Atasoy, Muse 90401's central conceit is a re-examination of the fate of women in certain iconic artworks. A playful muse is investigated for her attempts to change great works, allowing Atasoy to sing and defend her decisions by describing both the artworks and her muse's antics.
It is a charming idea, given energy by Atasoy's charisma and the show-tune accessibility of the musical numbers. Atasoy certainly impresses with her quick sketches of Anna Karenina and the Mona Lisa, although her analysis of tragic art fails to delve deeply into the purpose of the mistreatment of the characters. While art and literature is littered with women who have been abused, their representation has, in some cases, led to social change. As a critique of the misogyny that is rarely recognised in Shakespeare or Tolstoy, Muse 90401 makes trenchant points. Its solution – happy endings – ignores the impact of art on wider cultural values.
Further problems with the delivery – there are sound issues and Atasoy's delivery can simper as well as swing and sing – expose the simple structure and each episode becomes a reiteration of the same ideas and adventures. Between Atasoy's presence and the power of the concept, Muse 90401 does have potential, but it feels under-developed and struggles to make its message persuasive.
ZOO Southside, run ended.