We know why wars start: politics, money, religion… but how do they end? Lysistrata, a classic Greek sex farce, offers a thoroughly modern and deliciously naughty answer: the women of the warring states withdraw their services until their men agree to stop the fighting.
The play is bursting with broad verbal and physical humour, sure to delight those looking for the Stephen Colbert of ancient Greece. With a spare and simple presentation, the hilarity of Aristophanes’ premise comes to the fore. As the strong-willed and politically savvy Lysistrata (Susan Gilmore) leads her band of women in denying sex to their husbands, the increasingly backed-up boys must negotiate an end to the fighting before they are too stiff to hold up their swords. But Lysistrata’s ladies are having their own problems. Some really enjoy the lovin’. Can she hold back their impulses long enough to ram through a peace treaty and save Athens and Sparta?
Dudley Fitts’ translation is a feast of puns, innuendo and lyrical language that retains the biting political satire that was intended when the play first appeared more than 2000 years ago. The HPC retelling of this battle of the sexes pays homage to classical Greek style while updating the performance to speak to audiences shocked and awed by what they see nightly on the news.
This is the 66th main stage production of the Hudson Players Club, the longest continually operating theatre company in Quebec. Lysistrata is directed by the acclaimed and respected actor, Don Anderson.