The Bible mentions the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the New Testament, where it is revealed to apostle John that the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age is destined to take place.
The literal translation from Greek of the word apocalypse refers to a revelation of something hidden - occulted from human knowledge in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.
How accordionists became part of the apocalypse may ravage one's mind if too much thought is applied to the idea. Alas, accordionists are indeed the key element to this year's Melbourne Fringe's The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse, who by the end of the performance seem as though they were always intended to be part of the tale.
The story unfolds in present day, when Frigg, Norse Goddess of Fertility, descends to earth to address the current crisis plaguing humanity, the lack of reproduction among the humans. Frigg's spouse Woden, the God of Death and Storms, is partly to blame for the state earth is in, as he has exploited nature, and encouraged humans to do so as well. Destruction and mayhem rule the world.
Meanwhile on earth, Vita, daughter of Frigg and Woden, has been looking for the true meaning of her life, and she has become completely enamored by the mortals' invention, the accordion. Vita travels the world playing this newly discovered instrument, along the way raking in knowledge about humans, their music and their ways of life.
Eventually Vita is joined by three other accordion players and is commissioned to play music which is set to destroy or save humanity.
The play The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse first appeared back in 1996, at the Tasmanian New Music Festival. Now it has been taken on by writer and composer Sofia Chapman who, in collaboration with Brisbane-based director Jo Loth, manages to shed light on current issues in today's society via a musical comedy approach. Life's turmoils and humanity's weaknesses are addressed while adorned with lovely accordion music and wicked humorous zingers, which more than once drew belly busting laughter from the audience.
The show's set design is stark, and the costumes are a close second, but the energetic interpretation by the actors and their talent in belting out a heck-of-a tune more than make up for their plain surroundings.
Actress Zulya Kamalova (Frigg, Goddess of Fertility) delivered a very believable 'woman scorned' and 'Godess diva' interpretation, Terry Cole (Woden, Good of Death and master of disguise) was great fun to watch as he moved back and forth from one character to another, including full-on accent flip-flopping, Isabel Hertaeg (Brunhilde Bloch) shook the house with her thunderous vocal skills and Emma Louise Pursey as Candida Nervosa was a delightful nervous wreck throughout the play, delivering a memorable and unexpected rap sequence which had me in tears from laughter.
The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse is an unusual and very funny play, poking fun at the end of the world through Norse Mythology one accordion note at a time; it is well worth catching.
La Mama presents
The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse
Written by Sophia Chapman
Venue: La Mama Courhouse Melbourne Fringe
Dates: 26 September to 7 October