Myth: The Other Palace, London
Reviewed 10th March 2018
Fresh, current and engaging. It’s been 18 months since 27, a new British rock musical premiered at London’s Cockpit Theatre. Re-worked and re-named as Myth this semi-staged workshop is running for just 9 shows at The Other Palace.
Myth is a modern retelling of the Ancient Greek tale of Orpheus and the underworld. Sam Cassidy, the show’s writer and composer, has used the last 18 months to re-write and update the show, resulting in an historic myth updated and told alongside a modern, electrifying score.
This show manages to incorporate many themes, from fame and stardom, relationships with others, own self worth, addiction and mental health issues whilst also telling an interesting, entertaining story. Joel Harper-Jackson is phonemenal as Orpheus. His journey throughout the show is fantastic. The way the show, and Joel, tackles the delicate subject of mental health and addiction is truly effective, believable and relatable for many people. Whilst the story itself focuses heavily on the abstract, with many references to Greek myths, it is told through a believable and relatable plot. The references to voices in your head and overwhelming pressure is dealt with sensitively. To top it off Joel’s vocals are brilliant, he has a definite rock tone to his voice but is also able demonstrate a sensitive side as shown in the opening Act 2 number.
All of the cast were clearly very talented and passionate about the production. Zoe Birkett oozed sex appeal as Miss M. But it was Diana Vickers (a late addition to the cast) who stood out as Eurydice with her struggle with trying to be there for Orhpheus. Her vocals, once more, were amazing and provided a nice contrast to the rock vocals of ‘The Argonauts‘. Her emotional final song was sung with utter conviction and emotion.
For a production billed as a semi-staged workshop it was brilliantly put together. The costumes and use of stage fitted the show completely. The acting from everyone on stage was fantastic. But the thing that really made this production feel like a top-notch show was the incredible lighting by Nick Eve. The use of spot lights, colour filters and patterns really stood out and added an extra element to the show.
The direction by Arlene Phillips (and Sam Cassidy) was compelling. The idea of having Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (Eloise Davies, Jodie Steele and Jodie Jacobs) sinisterly watching throughout was an interesting element. As was the use of the ‘voices’ only appearing to the side of the stage lit up by torches on their phones. The frequent references to Greek myths also added an extra element but should not put people off – this show definitely feels fresh and new. You do not need to be a historian with a good knowledge of Greek myths to understand and appreciate this new musical.
Having not seen 27 I cannot compare this newest version but it certainly has huge potential. It deals with subjects that are important and rife in todays society. It is relevant to many people and the concept of telling it through Greek myths and fantasy is a great way to engage more audience members.
This latest addition to The Other Palace’s great collection of New British Musicals deserves to be seen. It could well become a new hit. It is certainly entertaining and makes for compelling watching. Full of original songs, an emotional storyline and an outstanding cast. Don’t miss the chance to catch this new musical whilst you can!
Myth is playing at The Other Palace, London until Saturday 17th March. For more information or tickets click here.