Greek myths are a constant source of inspiration for all performance and art mediums, as they feature epic storylines, engaging battles and philosophical debates.
The Elements World Theatre explores the fable of the savage Minotaur from a reflective stance in the aftermath of the action, allowing for an exploratory piece on consequence and the duality of self.
Breaking News reporters stand on the coastline awaiting Theseus’ return, hyped up and constantly telling us this is the truth, while barely able to contain their bickering. The frenzied beginning mirrors a modern world saturated in media and easy access to information, while reflecting that each journalist and publication has their own slant on their version of the truth.
The media pitch starts at the end of the myth creating an effective, speedy way of making sure everyone is familiar with the story, as Theseus arrives back off his ship having slain the beast and with new woman Phaedra by his side, muddled and hazy on the details of what happened. His mind clears and we enter the labyrinth with him as he recalls his quest.
Elements' non-linear approach and Lee Gershuny's lyrical, rhyming prose create a great tension teamed with atmospheric flamenco music and dance that fortifies the fire of human nature and sensual desire, as underpinning this multi-layered maze of musings is the question of unconditional love, and what it takes to offer.
Theseus is head-strong but distrustful and quick to disregard affections for immediate gratification; the Minotaur is ruthless and misinterprets fear as respect. In the depths of the labyrinth they learn from each other’s viewpoints and realise fear, greed and lust are at once the enemies and instigators of human behaviour.
Betrayal and redemption encircle each other as each character searches for peace, happiness and freedom, with Peter Strandberg's guitar the heartbeat of altered states of mind and heart, while Mayte Beltran’s entrancing flamenco adds to the often staccato action onstage.
The theme is a universal one that all can relate to, conveyed with tension and self-deprecating humour. Although there are a few moments where it seems to lose focus, overall Elements have succeeded in creating an engaging fusion of storytelling, poetry and dance.
Show Times: Runs to 25 August 2012 (not 19); 12:45pm on 16, 17 & 18 August. 1:45pm on 20-25 August.
Ticket Prices: £10 (£7)