By Ted Hughes
Adapted by Simon Reade and Tim Supple
Directed and Choreographed
by Ruth Griffin 2009
Now I am ready to tell how bodies are changed Into different bodies. Some are transformed just once and live their whole life after in that shape. Others have a facility for changing themselves as they please.
The cast of Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid was comprised of actors, dancers, and musicians. The actors, musicians, and dancers fulfilled multiple roles and functioned as stage crew. The world of this play was dream where the opposites, man and woman, good and evil, collided.
Above all Ovid was interested in passion. Or rather what a passion feels like to the one possessed by it. Not just ordinary passion either, but human passion in extremis-passion where it combusts, or levitates, or mutates into an experience of the supernatural.
Ruth Griffin, who directs the highly effective “Tales from Ovid” (a translation of free verse by Ted Hughes), has a keen tactile sense of the inherent dysfunction of the material. She also finds a sense of human redemption within its often-bizarre parameters, which is just as important.
Every fiber of this production pulses with movement. This title was a great pick for Griffin. By bringing together both dancers and actors from Fresno State — and freely interchanging their duties — she’s managed to craft a show that has its own powerful rhythm. An added bonus is a moody and atmospheric original score by Fresno State music professor Brad Hufft.
- Donald Munro Fresno Bee