Orlando Fringe 2022 review: 'Ajax'

An intrepid troupe of up-and-coming thespians stages the great Greek epic al fresco.

The story of the Trojan Wars has been told and retold by everyone from Homer to Brad Pitt; now an intrepid troupe of up-and-coming thespians is having a go at the great Greek epic outdoors in Max Pinsky’s new adaptation. Following the death of Achilles, the celebrated warrior Ajax (Gregory Boyington) is prodded into a jealous rage by the goddess Athena (Rashida Ryan-Horton) after being denied the spoils of war by his rival Odysseus (Robert Boyington), and ends up sentenced to death for disloyalty by King Agamemnon (Joshua Barnes). This show probably should have been titled “Tecmessa” because Desteney Lewis takes focus as Ajax’s wife pleading for her husband’s redemption.

As someone who has personally produced Oedipus in a dirt pit, I was rooting for this ambitious al fresco effort, but these developing actors couldn’t quite convey the gravitas necessary to distract me from the insects swarming around me though the show.

There’s definite potential here, and hopefully Ajax will serve as a learning experience for all involved, or anyone staging a site-specific show: Don’t make your audience stand in a debris-filled ditch when a comfy lawn is only yards away; provide enough illumination to see the actors’ faces; and always keep the pace and energy at an 11, lest your tale feel longer than The Iliad itself.

Tickets and show info: Ajax

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