La Femme Est Morte or Why Should I Not Fuck My Son
Phaedra/Britney an unlikely comparison?
This article is from 2007.
Britney is in a state of crisis. She split from her husband, shaved her head, drove with her son on her lap and allegedly tried to have his teeth whitened, and of course it’s all the media’s fault, just as they are held responsible for Phaedra’s demise in this adaptation of the classic. Celebrity du jour Phaedra awaits the return of her husband from war and, on a break from her Kabbalah and pilates, gets distracted by her stepson, accompanied by live renditions of music by the Spice Girls and Take That (we all know how the rest of the story pans out).
Updating the classics usually results in a painful audience experience, but not so here; the merging of the original script with the new never jars and the concept is utterly believable. The energy of the company and the frantic dance routines would have been enough, but it’s also teeming with ideas on the importance of appearance, American identity, the function of the media and our obsession with celebrity. Beauty and grotesqueness in one, this is a must see.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 14), 4pm, £9–£10 (£7.50–£8.50).