REVIEW: Mythic (Charing Cross Theatre) ★★★★★
I recently reviewed Eugenius. Mythic is everything that Eugenius thinks it is, but actually is not. Mythic is charming, has great songs and well written strong characters. It does not take itself too seriously and as a result is very funny. It is also rather touching and quite moving in parts.
The show programme tells us that the setting is “Ancient Greece” and the time is “The present”! So we meet our Gods reading glossy magazines and singing about selfies.
Demeter, the Goddess of Harvest, is bringing up her daughter Persephone away from Mount Olympus, the home of the Gods, in an effort to shield her from the “God celebrity culture”. Persephone has grown tired and frustrated of the fruitful, green life her mother provides and is itching to get to a party at The Acropolis to mix it with her cousins and other deities!
Aphrodite, Zeus’s daughter and Goddess of Love, is foot-stompingly annoyed that daddy is throwing the party for her sister Athena and decides to prove to him that she can use her goddess skills in a more powerful way. By casting a love spell on Persephone and Hades, the bad boy of the Underworld, Aphrodite grabs daddy’s attention, but condemns Demeter to a painful and difficult search to be reunited with her daughter.
Daniella Bowen as Demeter is excellent. Georgie Westall as Persephone is on stage for the majority of the 90 minute show and is fantastic. Genevieve McCarthy plays the wonderfully written Aphrodite as a mash up of every reality star you love to hate and lights up the stage with her performance as well as her costume!
Tim Oxbrow, looking uncannily like a young Robert Downey Jr, plays slick Zeus brilliantly and the highest praise has to go to Michael Mather making his professional debut as Hades; he is simply superb.
The ensemble are excellent with super quick changes from nymphs to deities to underworld thugs. Special mention for Ben Welch particularly as Charon and Jade Marvin making her professional debut, but they are all great.
The show has very basic staging but makes clever use of lighting to differentiate between Demeter’s world, The Acropolis, Olympus and The Underworld. The costumes are “deity does punk” and are extremely effective at echoing the narrative.
Writer Marcus Stevens has performed as part of the Forbidden Broadway cast and this performance borrows some of the cheeky, “sending up” elements of those shows. I can see this being staged in a much larger theatre, perhaps expanded beyond the 90 minutes by bringing in a 2nd mythological tale to the dialogue and being given a bigger and bolder staging.
My advice is – don’t wait for that to happen – get down to The Charing Cross Theatre and see this delightful show as soon as possible
Reviewed by Emma Heath
Photo: Marc Brenner