This sapphic comedy of errors poked fun at a modern world and human culture with Lesbians, Oligarchs and a classic Greek Chorus.

In a country divided between democracy and oligarchy, where the rich are in power and control everything while the people are stripped of their wealth and wish for their voices to be heard, this new play fits well in the modern world.

Wendy Beckett's Sappho tells the story of the great poet and her writings, which for many years were twisted to suit a reserved society. In reality, her honesty and love for women were her muse, and that is history, no myth.

Using a modern gay man as a narrator, Emmanuel Akwafo sashays through the narrative as Sappho, played by Georgie Fellows, is being convinced to marry a man, Eleanor Kane, yet lusts for a female she sees dancing outside her window, also Kane. 

Akwafo sparkles on stage and struts between timelines. By quipping at the audience in a modern, camp tone, Akwafo is electric and full of laughter and fun! The narrator is then dragged into the narrative by the Gods in conversation which switches his tongue and brings him back into their world.

As the titular Sappho, Fellows dazzles as the lusty lesbian poet dedicated to her writing and women. Even when her parents attempt to persuade her to be straight to fit into society to change it from within, her strong character remains. There were plenty of moments where the audience was seen snapping their fingers in a queer sign of agreement which should be coined "Snaps For Sappho".

Playing all the lovers, Kane switches between the elegant Adore and a shy yet rugged man with gender-bending beauty. Kane's switching was reminiscent and cultured yet strikingly modern and refreshing.

While some elements of the staging could have been more polished, the desire and attempt to create an authentic Greek theme were applauded. Featuring a Greek chorus and simplistic set, the ancient theme was well created and maintained. Unfortunately, some of the choreography involving the chorus wasn't always in time with each other, but this is easily fixed with more rehearsal.

Sappho is a love letter to Lesbians and Greek Theatre! A great night out for all, whether a fan of the ancient world, politics or the LGBTQIA+ community, this play is something for all to enjoy! 

This show was reviewed on the 8th May 2024 at Southwark Playhouse Elephant where it runs until the 25th May 2024.  Tickets available here: Sappho - Southwark Playhouse

Review written by Ryan Lenney


Photo credit: Richard Davenport

Check out other reviews from Curtain Call Reviews and get in touch to have our reviewers head to your show.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.