The Bacchae

The Bacchae Adelaide Fringe 20241/2

Riverland Youth Theatre. The Arch, Holden Street Theatres. 12 Mar 2024


Brush up your classical Greek mythology before heading down to Holden Street. Of all unlikely things, a group of young thespians from the Riverland has mounted a wildly ambitious production of their own contemporary take on Euripides’ The Baccahe.


They have realised that there are topical parallels to be drawn from the story of outrageous and vengeful ancient gods. Hence, their “adaptation” is a ride of queer, gay, non-binary, tranny liberation in togas and hippie flowers.

They rejoice at vulgarity, arrogance and violence.


Language warnings are outré in the theatre but vernacular runs rampant in this show, as does the tedious conjunction(?) “like”.

Everything is, like, really, like gay.


Star of the show is of course, Dionysus, the god of fun, fertility, wine, and madness who is embodied in a flourishing celebration of high camp by Owen Stokes. It is Dionysus' story of rivalry and vengeance and the stage swarms with it all, it being a large cast.  They’ve incorporated some gorgeous new-age gods such as the god of digital art and the excellent god of puberty and even a god of fan-fiction.


There is a dire need for firmer direction since a lot of the dialogue is inaudible due to lack of projection, shyness, or simply trying to deliver lines while lying on the stage.

What shines forth from the Riverland ensemble is a sense of joyful liberation.

They are having fun with the classics. Catch up if you can.


There are some promising talents onstage, among them Sophie Landau, Timu King, Rowen Hurrell, and Axel Lochert, as well as keen support players in Anni Mates, Zelda Edwards, Levi Button, and Arlo Sharp. All of them are under the lovingly supportive direction of Fleur Kilpatrick. Keira Simmons adds over-arching atmosphere with an interesting soundscape and Li Ingle has done a valiant job with costumes albeit the set with its panda toys is a bit puzzling.


One has to give it to this Riverland mob. They have braved the Fringe with something completely different.

All power to them. And let the gods stay with them.


Samela Harris


When: 12 to 15 Mar

Where: The Arch, Holden Street Theatres