Charing Cross Theatre – 25 November 2018
As we wait for Hadestown to arrive at the National Theatre, an alternative modern musical take on Greek mythology has emerged just across the river at the Charing Cross Theatre. Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor’s Mythic may have a rather unassuming demeanour by comparison, but it proves to be something of a gently Olympian success from director/choreographer Sarah O’Gleby.
Stevens’ book focuses on the troubled mother/daughter relationship between earth mother goddess Demeter and rebellious teen Persephone. Demeter has rejected the hard-partying celebrity lifestyle of the gods in favour of her Mother Nature ways but Persephone wants nothing more than to drop the trowel and kick it up good with the likes of the Essex-style Aphrodite and an emo Hades.
This she does but, as you may know, Hades is no ordinary bad boy and her independent streak lands her in the underworld with unexpected results. There’s enough of a spin on the tales of old to keep the interest piqued, particularly for a modern audience. But the real appeal comes with the brightly pop/rock-influenced score from Eldor which is chock-full of eminently hummable tunes.
Genevieve McCarthy’s Aphrodite is a perky pop princess in the making, full of pointed attitude too; Michael Mather’s Hades is marvellously moody and sounds like a dream (a great debut); and Georgie Westall’s Persephone is a highly likeable central presence. The ensemble is also used in a number of inventive and amusing ways which really integrates them well into the production.
O’Gleby’s production is also beautifully designed by Lee Newby with its classic lines of drifting fabric, and lit with a clean grace by Jamie Platt. It really does the trick of just being entertaining good fun.