Country bumpkin Strepsiades dares to join Socrates and his band of intellectuals at ‘The Thinkery’ in a desperate plight to learn how to argue his way out of his debt. However, proving to be an ignoramus in the learning of essential facts such as the distance of a flea’s jump and the correct gender of a basin, Strepsiades sends his delinquent son, Pheidippides in his place, who learns to argue a little too well for Strepsiades liking, much to the enjoyment of the Clouds, who turn out to be the most important teachers of all.
It is tough to bring a satire from two thousand years ago into the present day, making it both relevant and amusing and Michael Moore did well to bring the action up to date with an elaborate set, vibrant lighting effects and some modern comical moments that also stayed true to the humour of the original play.
Some difficulties of age differences were overcome by some effective and innovative casting as Lucy Preston, playing the young Pheidippides, dressed in brightly coloured boxers and baseball cap certainly looked like a young boy stood next to Strepsiades (Alex MacGillvray).
In a play with so many monologues it is difficult for the action not to become a little static and although some elements of satire against Socrates, such as his adamant worship of the drunken clouds were well portrayed, perhaps more could have been made of this. However, of course one of the main targets of satire in Greek theatre is the audience and the parts in which they are ridiculed were amusingly and successfully executed.