Lights within the Bog of Cats - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Lights within the Bog of Cats

Lights within the Bog of Cats

Published March 11, 2005

“Mýrarljós” is loosely based on a play by Euripides called “Medea”; however, you don’t really have to know anything about the original tragedy in order to enjoy “Mýrarljós”. The play deals with the travelling people of Ireland, the Tinkers, who often used to live at the edge of the inhabitable world, in swamps, in order to be left alone. Tinkers are still harassed for their lifestyle, a lifestyle coloured with wanderlust. It is a hard life to live in a caravan and not be welcome anywhere.

Enter the Catwoman

“Mýrarljós” deals with the fear we have about the unknown. The Catwoman [no, not her –ed] is an archetype for that fear, who, blind as she is, reveals the hidden world of the future and of ghosts; an oracle and a wild woman. The black swan’s destiny seems to be woven into the fabric of Hester Swan’s, the Tinker Woman’s, destiny. The reasons for her tragic life are mysterious and yet as human as they can get. Her life is out of control, her deep pain only seems to attract more abandonment. She is so blinded by revenge and grief that it makes her unable to avoid the terrible fate about to occur, an obvious fate but it has a twist to it that I will not reveal.

The costumes, makeup and masks by Thanos Vovolis are a fresh wind from Greece, the original cradle of drama, and the same applies to the direction of movement and voices by Giorgos Zamboulakis.

Every Scale of Human Emotion

Halldóra Björnsdóttir in the role of Hester Swan manages to show every scale of human emotion and to awaken compassion for this lost soul. Her performance is brilliant. The live music throughout the play is also worth mentioning, composed by one of our greatest composers for theatre, Atli Heimir Sveinsson.

I liked the multi-dimensions of “Mýrarljós” so much that I was ready to see it again, right away, and that is rare. There were so many interesting things happening on the stage that it might take more than one viewing to experience and fully absorb it.

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