Saturday, September 17, 2016

Aoibheann Greenan, 'The Perfect Wagner Rite': Fetish Opera

Aoibheann Greenan's take on Wagner's opera is the most non-conforming show at Fringe in years. 

RHA Gallery, Tiger Dublin Fringe
Sep 15-18

A quick review of The Perfect Wagner Rite by Aoibheann Grennan coming up just as soon as I hand you a spear ...

A nineteenth century German-language opera is, without a doubt, the least likely material to inspire the most non-conforming show at the Fringe in years. Yet, visual artist Aoibheann Greenan churns out Wagner’s Ring Cycle - an epic clash of gods, heroes and mythical creatures over a magic golden ring to rule the world - as an underground fantasy.

For George Bernard Shaw (who makes a brief appearance), it exposed the abuses of an industrialised society. If Greenan’s own fantastic shape - dressed as an enormous set of sensuous golden lips - isn’t indicator enough, her gallery of mouth-dropping revelatory costumes, worn by a nerveless cast, usher in a hidden culture of BDSM, cross-dressing and nudity left behind by previous sexual revolutions (if you’re into role play, you might even get a part).

You haven’t a prayer of keeping up with the plot, despite efforts to share the text in video projections and a live-cam by a vigilant ‘pornographer’ (Stevie O’Connor). But, by God, the scenography will seduce you: stunning displays combined with squiggly guitars and crunching keyboards by live band Spudgun make for thrilling pageantry.

There’s a sense by the end, incoherent as it is, of a struggle against domineering attitudes. After all, the participants are left to uncuff their shackles by themselves.

What did everybody else think?


  1. Corruscating carnal chaos . Never a dull augenblick.

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