A review of Theater Schmeater’s rollicking outdoor production of an ancient Sumerian tale, adapted by Julia Leonas and directed by J.D. Lloyd.
The ancient Sumerian “Epic of Gilgamesh” (25,000 B.C.) is thought to be the oldest written story in human history.
In the tale — as presented outdoors by Theater Schmeater this summer — the wiry and nimble Gilgamesh (Ronnie Hill), King of Uruk, is two-thirds God and one-third man. It’s a combination that leads him into trouble.
Not until the overwhelmingly large, strong, and smart human, Enkidu (Aaron Allshouse), arrives on the scene, does Gilgamesh find a worthy companion. It does, however, take the self-satisfied Gilgamesh some time to realize what a friend Enkidu can be.
Amazing adventures lie in store for these two! There are encounters with women and supernatural beings. There are superhuman challenges, even a flood of biblical proportions. When Enkidu dies, frightened and lonely Gilgamesh begs the ruling Gods for eternal life. He eventually learns that only through the memories of one’s achievements on earth can one live forever.
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This is a rollicking adventure tale ideal for families as well as adults. Actors who are well versed in physical humor perform with crack comedic timing. Their props are incredibly simple, but oh so clever. If you aren’t familiar with this ancient legend, now is the time to rectify that.
Julia Leonas gets credit for this adaptation directed by J.D. Lloyd.