'King Oedipus' reigns

Fullerton College Hornet  - Dean McClesky - Friday, November 12th, 1976

Tragedy is the locomotive of Oedipus, pulling him down an unalterable track of doom.

"Oedipus The King" is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles. Nightmarish events lead to the wrecking of a life full of promise for Oedipus pronounced Ed-uh-puss).

Thebes had been under a terrible curse. The Sphinx, a monster with the winged body of a lion, and the head of a woman, had perched outside the city gates to devour anyone who could not answer the riddle 'What creature walks on four feet in the morning, on two at noon, and three in the evening?"

Needless to say traffic in and out of the city stopped. The city was in economic strangulation until Oedipus answered with the correct riddle .

Man was the answer

On hearing the answer, the Sphinx threw herself to her death, and Oedipus became the savior of Thebes. H-e was given the throne and the widowed Queen.

What seems to be the start of a glorious adventure is actually the culmination of a horrible set of events. Events which Oedipus had had no control over.

The events fulfilled a horrible prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Here the play begins.

Thebes is under a plague and the people come to Oedipus hoping that once again he will have the answer.

Oedipus is determined to maintain his image and leads an investigation to find why this plague is on the land of Thebes. He is going to find the person responsible and banish them from the land to appease the angry gods.

The first 15 or 20 minutes are trying on your ability to stay awake.

But after that you will be intrigued, possibly horrified, with the performance.

The entrance of Earl Mills, who plays the blind prophet Tiresias, is the point where the play does an about face and becomes increasingly more interesting as it progresses.

The story begins to unravel as Tiresias is interrogated by King Oedipus.

Brian Tracy plays the shepherd who spared the infant Oedipus' life. Tracy is convincing as he portrays a man who holds terrible knowledge of the king. Knowledge unknown to King Oedipus who demands to know the truth

Lori Grifo will turn your stomach as she tears your heart in half. Grifo reports in morbid detail the queen's suicide and serif-mutilation of Oedipus. The Greek's sense of decency prohibited showing this. However, the messenger's account may distress your tummy as well as your heart. Grifo is very effective.

The performance is done in masks as in the ancient Greek style. The set, masks and lighting add professionalism while contributing authenticity.

All in all, I recommend the play to anyone who enjoys tragedy, mystery, history, drama, or who is curious where the term 'Oedipus Complex' originated.