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Unmythable – Lowry Theatre, Salford

Writer: Richard Darbourne, Troels Hagen Findsen, Paul O’Mahony and Mike Tweddle

Additional Lyrics: Robert Castell

Director: Mike Tweddle

Reviewer: Iain Sykes

[rating:5]

Treating the past with irreverence is all the rage right now. In their show, Unmythable, Temple Theatre join in with this revelry, taking the legends and heroes of Ancient Greece away from their hallowed pedestals and into an hour long show, heavy on laughs and physical gags which owes more than a nod to the style of Horrible Histories.

Gone is the heroic Hollywood treatment of Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece, instead we have Paul O’Manony as the skipper of the Argo with a hapless crew and the heroes in the audience, with just the right amount of audience participation. But this turns into no mere narrative account of Jason’s quest as the company break things up with a Trojan Horse load of rapid fire sketches and songs, detailing the deeds and misdeeds of the heroes and gods (thankfully skipping Oedipus) along the way.

This style of telling the tales not only keeps the rapt attention of the younger members of the target family audience but allows the cast of three (O’Mahony joined on stage by Will Pinchin and Troels Hagen Findsen) to showcase their skills as superb physical theatre performers as they energetically bulldoze their way through the stories with quick changes of characters. This skill is no more evident than in a fantastic scene where Finsden doubles as Zeus and Hades alongside O’Mahony in a summer dress as Demeter and Persephone.

Out of all this hilarious chaos comes the climatic scene of the evening of Jason’s arrival in Colchis as the company prove how Unmythable works on more than one level. Finsden’s portrayal of King Aeetes as a Brando style mafia don has the adults chuckling while the base silliness of the 6’ Pinchin, flirting in a blonde wig, as his daughter has the kids in stitches.

As this reviewer’s own daughter said, a play about Greek myths sounds like some educational tour that would be performed for school history lessons. After an hour of Unmythable we both left with huge smiles on our faces and Greek olives in our mouths after a fantastic show that’s all set to write it’s very own legend.

Reviewed on 14th July 2012

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