Arts Reviews

“Effortlessly Funny”- Theatre Review: Aristotle And Socrates Odyssey @ Nottingham New Theatre

Amy Child and Ana Balanici

Aristotle and Socrates Odyssey ponders the question: what goes on inside the minds of two of the world’s greatest thinkers? The answer they come up with: not a lot. Amy Child and Ana Balanici review Nottingham New Theatre’s bright new comedy.

We attended this play with high expectations, as the premise sounded fantastic (two ancient philosophers stuck for ideas? Sign us up!), and we had experienced how well the Nottingham New Theatre does comedy in multiple other shows. It’s fair to say that our expectations weren’t disappointed.

Brilliant onstage chemistry

Upon entering the theatre, the daunting appearance of a bare stage, featuring only two blocks, warned that this play would rely entirely on the talent of the actors. However, it soon became obvious that this trust was well-placed. Aristotle (Alessia Lowcock) and Socrates (Tommy Allwright) had brilliant onstage chemistry, and complemented each other amazingly. Their performances were effortlessly funny, and in only forty-five minutes, the play managed to make us deeply invested in their relationship (are we allowed to ship two ancient philosophers?), and provide a strong impression of their characters.

Every joke was enhanced by gestures and energy

A witty, well-written script gives life to a simplistic story, as Aristotle and Socrates search high and low for fresh ideas. Although the play is short, it is excellently paced so as not to feel brief, and every joke was enhanced by gestures and energy from the cast. Creative nods to Greek mythology were used the perfect amount to provide a balance between modern and historical references, and we particularly loved all the cameos from Greek gods

Special shout-out to Hetty Rockell for immaculately embodying every character as soon as she came onstage. Additionally, the Medusa scene, with its hilarious innuendo and physicality, was one of our favourites, and brilliantly acted by everyone involved.

Although the play wasn’t heavy on sound and lighting, the little touches definitely added to the performance, and came in at all the right moments. The inclusion of the Chorus was also a fun addition, adding more laughs in-between scenes.

We’re now taking the entire play as historical fact

Having little prior knowledge of Aristotle and Socrates almost made this better, as we’re now taking the entire play as historical fact. Do we know anything about Plato? No. Do we hate him now? Yes.

If you happen to pop by the Edinburgh Fringe between 15th-17th of February, we’d definitely recommend stopping to give this show a watch. It might not give you much to think about, but it will certainly give you something to laugh about.

Amy Child and Ana Balanici

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

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