Orlando Fringe 2024 review: 'Prowling the Abyss'

Medusa is back, minus the snakes, and she’s got quite a few bloody bones to pick with humanity — at least the male half.

Medusa is back with a brand-new snake-free head, and she’s got quite a few bloody bones to pick with humanity — at least the male half — in this gonzo solo performance art piece starring writer Karen Anne Light and directed by Elizabeth Baron. Light’s reimagined monster is a queer femme icon who longs for the good old days when men were castrated to fertilize the fields; now she passes the eons by regaling her audience with gruesome Gorgon riddles and stories of infant cannibalism and lesbian anarchists with elastic labia, when not caterwauling orgasmically.

Eventually, the topic jumps to modern politics (which she initially promises not to discuss) with uneven results. I sometimes struggled to follow the connection from one interlude to another, especially during sluggish extended segments where Light inhabits the character of a breathy bubble-bather or an exhausted butter enthusiast.

This Medusa may not turn audiences to stone, but there’s certainly something hypnotic about her intensely focused eyes, fascinatingly flexible forearms and aggressively icy intonation. If you’re easily shocked by Sapphic stream-of-consciousness soliloquies about the toll of toxic hetero-masculinity, this might be too much for you. But you don’t have to be a harpy, historian or homosexual to be engrossed by at least the Medusa-centric parts of this production. The only prerequisite is patience, and an appreciation for out-there acerbic absurdism.

Orlando Fringe Festival: Tickets and times for "Prowling the Abyss"
Location Details

Orlando Family Stage

1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando Central




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