Whoever balked as sex as a weapon? Lysistrata is Aristophane’s witty and compelling classic, written in 411 and could well be argued the first girl-power play, as well as the first Desperate Housewives. Lysistrata laments what she fears as the disintegration of the city due to the lack of eligible men as a result of the Peloponnesian War. As a last straw, she convinces the wives of Sparta Boeotia, and Corinth to withdraw to encourage their husbands to have a good look at their priorities by withdrawing their sexual favours from their husbands, eventuall having to inprison themselves. They vow not to put out until the weapons are put down. In a land where men are men and women look after the men, the women are at first aghast, but then as their own livelihoods are threatened and the war presses on, must acquiesce.
This is a highly humourous and rather bawdy play, where the males are pompus, sexist and clearly second in line in the brains queue, wearing external phalluses and posturing about. It is the classic war of the sexes, one of its most commendable moments being the revelation that women not get any is not a bowl of cherries-much comedy to be had in the sexual frustrations and escape attempts by both the horny housewives as well as the husbands. Which lust shall prevail? Blood or booty? Care to hazard a guess?