I saw Myth back in 2016 at the Cockpit theatre under its previous name, ’27’. For those not aware of this story, it is heavily based on Ancient Greek mythology. More specifically, Orpheus and his encounter with the underworld. As the rock score would imply it is a modern rendition of this historical tale. Over the past two years it has gone back into development. Here, I will be making a note of the changes I notices and whether I personally feel that they were beneficial for the shows development.
–Keeping in line with my other posts, I shall be keeping this very honest.–
I do have to say this right off the bat before we go any further – I don’t like the new name. It is so generic. My response to the name change was ‘myth, of what?’. 27 was much more catchy and more unique. It gave the insight as to what the show was about without revealing too much and was still enough to spark people’s curiosity. Having spoke to Sam Cassidy after the 2018 show, I still stand by my view. His reasoning behind the name change is valid however I feel it could have been executed in a better way. I don’t feel that Myth markets the show as it should do and is actually underselling it currently. If I hadn’t have previously seen 27 and I had stumbled across Myth’s page on The Other Palace’s website I would have been, “Okay, if I get around to seeing it, I’ll see it”, It wouldn’t have gone straight to the top of my theatre list.
When I saw the show back in 2016 the only real criticism I had was the script. It had a real amateur feel to it. Something which I would have expected to see from a GCSE candidate. I was very pleased to see that the 2018 production had had a lot of work done on it script wise. It seemed so much stronger. Back at the cockpit it wasn’t until act 2 that you actually realised the story whereas now it is made clear from the onset. The script seems a lot more engaging with quick little one-liners throughout. Those did make me chuckle. It was a nice touch having these as the show is very dark so it was almost a relief to be laughing at moments. There was one scene in act 1 where Orpheus meets Hades for the first time in the Underworld and for me that was the weakest part in the script. It seemed incredibly long winded for what was happening. I actually did lose interest and was willing for the next number to start because I knew how great the music was! But to only have this in one part of the show was a great step up.
Side note on the script – I adore the fact they kept the section on “hey, boy. What are you thinking about?”. My heart melted. “You, my favourite thing” Gone. Love it.
I really like the fact the ‘fates’ had more of a presents this time. It felt like they did anyway. It was great seeing a deeper characterisation of them. Atropos being the ‘mummy’ fate and keeping the other two in check and then jumping to the other extreme with Clotho who seemed to be the youngest with a purer heart.
I understand that this was a workshop production so the budget was very limited however I would definitely like to see more of a difference in the reality and the underworld. Just to make things a little clearer on the audience’s side. Same goes with the character appearances. I loved the way the ensemble were predominately in black but I did think Orpheus and the other band members didn’t have a real rock look. They could have easily passed for a mediocre pop group (which, I suppose, is what they are to start with!). I just wasn’t getting that rock star vibe especially from Orpheus.
This 2018 version had a lot of new songs added. Some I was able to catch and noted that they were the new ones but they all blended in so well. Went so naturally together. So much so, some I completely believed had already been in the show. Once again, the music is just incredible. It is always a positive when you come out of the theatre singing the songs. One of the new editions which actually closed the show was great! Definitely the anthem of the show. I mean, it was rather cliche. I really up beat, feel good song but it is a well justified remedy after a show touching on some depressing elements.
The characterisation of Hades definitely changed but I appreciate this will differ from actor to actor. Ryan Malloy gave it a more edgier feel whilst portraying the sinister side. After all, he is the devil! Whereas this time around it was more…annoying. It was the very typical *insert British accent* “proper British devil!”. You didn’t want to hate or like him, rather ignore him.
I know this post seems incredibly negative however I really do want the best for this show. I absolutely adore it and will continuously be raving about it. It has such great potential and I cannot wait to see it blossom into the next West End hit!
I did review the workshop production at The Other Palace is you are interested in reading that too!