Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Set sail aboard the Argo in company with three spirited performers who will sing with you, laugh with you and recover the Golden Fleece with you. Anchors away for a whistle-stop tour of greek mythology. Familiar stories including Medusa, Persephone, Polyphemus the Cyclops as well as Medea are rendered by Troels Hagen Findsen, Paul O’Mahony and Will Pinchin into pacy comedic set pieces perfectly judged and timed.
Unmythable is a sensationally physical piece of theatre, at one moment 2 cast members are playing 4 parts which have been painstakingly delineated and to huge effect. This is a very disciplined performance. Tight choreography ensures that each of the players is given their moment to shine, the basis of all great ensemble work. The show is a Pythonesque Goodie bag. Unbelievably inventive use is made of 3 wooden crates to recreate everything from the deck of the Argo to the inside of the Trojan Horse. The latter scene is a masterclass in holding an audience spell bound. The frenetic pace is suddenly stilled. The lights go down and a comically long silence ensues. This scene could not have worked if the audience’s attention had not been grabbed, held and petted from the start.
Arriving at Zoo Venue to attend a performance of Unmythable is rather like coming into a secluded Ionian village square to discover an open air show is about to take place. The cast is on hand with complimentary nibbles – a generous courtesy which makes even the most tremulous of the younger audience members feel at ease (perhaps a shot of retsina for us oldens wouldn’t go amiss either?).
Even so there are tweaks available to the Unmythable team which would make this production truly unmissable. They need to be clearer about the age suitability – at present edfringe.com has the show down as ‘U’. My companion, who knows something about dealing with the childish mind (just meet her partner), pointed out that those of later primary school age were visibly enthralled by the show while even the most precocious of the younger kids were struggling with the unfamiliar characters and stories. We were sitting beside a speaker and I didn’t go aboard Argo to get drowned out.
This show features an impossible seeming number of swings, each one a hit. Why is fringe the best type of theatre there is? Because of the strong personal connection between each member of the audience and the players on stage. Why is this show such a prime example of fringe theatre? Because the cast work so hard and play so hard. In the process they push the bounds of what is possible so that you feel the space palpably bulging, straining with the mass of electric atmosphere they produce. This is an al fresco style indoor performance which might well blow the roof off.