Review: Live Acts On Stage

7 years ago
Aidan Johnson

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned”
– William Congreve

group-shot_200Which is certainly true of classical Greek mythology; a typical tale (I think about 98% of them) begins with Zeus committing a dalliance (to put it mildly) much to the chagrin (to again put it mildly) of his wife Hera, who will then seek to bring about some sort of appropriate revenge (“appropriate” in the sense that revenge is owed, but frequently inappropriate in terms of proportion). While a sane couple might seek counseling or a divorce, their exploits make for what I’m pretty sure was the time-period’s equivalent of Jerry Springer.

Live Acts On Stage from Michael Gow, presented by Four Letter Word Theatre and directed by Sarah Tabitha Catchpole, is the story of the journey of Orpheus, legendary musician, poet and prophet, who famously tried to bring his wife back from the underworld. Also, Zeus and Hera having a fight, but so is every one of those stories.

There’s an anachronistic quality to the piece, which makes for interesting viewing. It’s presented in a classical style, but with modern language and the odd line about a car or the mall, which gels curiously with the timelessness of these fables; it is Zeus “buttfucking” a farmboy which generates Hera’s ire, Hades struts the stage in leather pants.

Written originally for a cast of eight, Catchpole has expanded the cast closer to twenty; although there is still significant “doubling up” of roles, the larger cast allows for a more enriched performance. This is going to sound a little strange out of context, but those were some pretty amazing sheep.

Warning: strong violence, sexual violence, sexual and adult themes, nudity & coarse language.


  • Live Acts On Stage is the work of Michael Gow, performed by Four Letter Word Theatre and directed by Sarah Tabitha Catchpole.


  • Greek mythology with occasional swearing and suggestive nudity.


  • Until the Saturday 5th October
  • Tues – Sat at 8pm
  • Sun 6pm


  • fortyfive downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, CBD

How Much

  • Full $40
  • Conc $35
  • Group of 6+ $30

Bookings can be made by calling (03) 9662-9966, or online here. Live Acts On Stage is presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.


[EDIT: The giveaway is now closed; thanks to everyone who emailed in, the winner will be notified shortly!]

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