After victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Venetians commission a glorious, celebratory work but Galactia – a fictional artist and feminist before her time – is intent on showing the brutal reality.
The formidable Glenda Jackson played the original Galactia, but Old Fitzroy’s very spirited Lucy Miller rises to the challenge and possibly even deserves to have a tropical cyclone named after her.
Mark Lee gives a marvellous performance as the Doge; he seems to have channelled every over-anxious, self-important functionary from time immemorial.
Also in the very solid cast: Lynden Jones, Peter Maple, Brendan Miles, Katherine Shearer, Jeremy Waters and Nicole Wineberg.
Among the several themes explored by English playwright Howard Barker is the artist’s personal integrity versus their relationship to audience, patrons, government, etc. Is art meant to depict reality and the truth, or a palatable lie? (MMu)
Until May 31, Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo, $21-32, sitco.net.au
BY MICHAEL MUIR