Unmythable Blue Elephant Theatre 25 May


I had a reasonable idea of what this would be like once I’d seen that there were three performers, none of them female.  It’s the kind of mildly-amusing, mildly-educational show that certainly used to tour schools up and down the country.  Aimed at ages 10-12 I’d say.  There weren’t any children in the first-night audience though; they mainly looked like friends of the cast.

So we had three guys dressed essentially in jeans and blue-ish T-shirts.  At the beginning, they welcomed the audiewnce enthusiastically and passed round bowls of olives.  Paul O’Mahony as Jason announced that we were The Argonauts and to show how heroic we were we should shout and cheer every time he said ‘The Argonauts’.  And we did.  The idea was that we were in a ship on our way to Colchis and they would relate legends to pass the time.

So they did.  There was certainly an impressive number of quick changes of role in the story of Demeter and Persephone, where five characters were played by two actors, switching all the time.  As tends to be the cazse in these things, I thought the representation of the story at journey’s end in Colchis worked best, because it was long enough to give some characterisation with Richard Darborne as a North Country Medea, Paul O’Mahony as a very narcissistic Jason, and Troels Hagen Findsen as Marlon Brando as Don Corleone as King Aetes.

You might say that £ 10 for an hour of three performers is rather short weight.  Certainly the two-night revival of Ovid’s Metamorphoses at the Greenwich Theatre offers the same kind of thing, but with  sets and costumes and music and women and glamour and money off as well (my views of an earlier outing here).

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