Charing Cross Theatre – 25 November 2018
I have to start this review by saying that I need a Mythic cast recording right this moment. The entire show is super catchy and you can bet that if/when a recording is released, it’s all I will be listening to.
Mythic is a 90-minute, humorous, dynamic and all-round brilliant show which looks at the Greek Gods in a way they’ve not been seen before. In this reinvention, we follow Young Persephone who is trying to find herself and her talent, whilst her mother (and Mother Earth herself) Demeter, is struggling to let her little girl grow and flourish in the way she allows her plants to.
Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor’s upbeat pop/rock score is catchy beyond belief and features song after song that will keep you entertained and on your toes. From the moment the show opens the tone is set: we are in for a 90-minute comedic show that’s fully self-aware and able to subtly look at some deeper subjects.
There’s no denying that this show is cheesy but that’s what makes it so great; from the use of props (shrubs which are tossed around the stage) to the joke-filled lyrics, Mythic manages to balance humour and integrity well. The show could easily become a mess but instead it is sleek and emphasises its cliches to make them thoroughly entertaining rather than draining.
The re-imagined Olympia certainly feels like party central, with the music creating the perfect soundtrack for a night out. The variations in moods are also achieved well, with highly uplifting numbers, as well as darker numbers and moving ballads. For the entirety of the show, Mythic manages to remain well-connected to the myths, whilst making the entire thing feel fresh and contemporary.
The characters are highly stereotypical, with a sleazy father (Zeus), a daughter who feels trapped (Persephone), a typical bad-boy (Hades), an overprotective mother (Demeter) and an attention-deprived daughter (Aphrodite). However, they are more than they appear on the surface and are all well-rounded enough to make us really root for them and become invested in their struggles throughout the 90 minutes.
Mythic’s five principles do a wonderful job of motoring the story along whilst providing well thought out performances. Daniella Bowen is suitably hippie and genuine as protective mother, Demeter. Her performance of What Mothers Have To Do shows her power as a performer and the whole role really showcases her versatility. As her daughter Persephone, Georgie Westall is a strong female lead; perfectly embodying the headstrong aspect of the character, without making her unlikable. Vocally she is super strong, with Irreversible providing a stand out moment and showing that Georgie is sure to be a name on the London theatre scene for the foreseeable future.
Michael Mather does a brilliant job as the leather clad bad-boy Hades. Again showing versatility through his portrayal which is both fiery and vulnerable. His killer voice and great stage presence make Michael perfect for the role and his great chemistry with Georgie make them a perfect pair to play out this crazy love story.
Genevieve McCarthy is part Regina George, part Karen Smith in her portrayal of the wannabe daddy’s girl, Aphrodite. Alongside Tim Oxbrow as Zeus, the father who’s focussed on power rather than his daughter (well, one of them), there is great comedic timing and the duo work well together; especially towards the end when the dynamics change. The ensemble are supremely strong, supplying us with killer vocals and witty one liners throughout. Mentions go to Eloise Davies and Ben Welch who catch the eye in their various roles and, to the fantastic diction of the overall ensemble. For a show that is almost entirely sung through, we do not miss a word due to the fantastically sharp delivery from everyone.
Everything in this show works in precise union, with Lee Newby’s costumes and sets not only matching the world of the God’s but also highlighting and literally being highlighted by Jamie Platt’s lighting design which is precise and not at all overbearing. Sarah O’Gleby has done a fabulous job with choreography and direction and whole piece just feels like a step in the right direction for theatre in the West End. For a godlike way to spend 90 minutes, don’t look any further than the Charing Cross Theatre and Mythic.
Mythic runs at the Charing Cross theatre until 24th November
photo credit: Marc Brenner