Ariadne gives Theseus a magic sword.
With our Chameleons, old and new, we set sail on our voyage from Athens to Crete, following the journey of Prince Theseus and learning about some of other epic heroes of great renown along the way. Over the seven weeks leading up to their show we explored the tale of Theseus in depth, learning about Athens, where he was from, and about the land of Crete, the people who lived there and about the terrifying half man, half bull beast that lived in the labyrinth beneath the city.
Together we looked at how myths sometimes tie together, how the tale of demigod Hercules and his twelve labours tied into the story of Theseus and Crete. As a group our Chameleons had a chance to re-enact some of Hercules’ greatest trials; ‘The Nemean Lion,’ ‘The Dreaded Hydra,’ ‘The Taming of Cerberus,’ ‘The Scarf of Hypollyta’ and last but not least; ‘The Cretian Bull,’ which serves as a prequel for the story we were trying to tell. The Chameleons had a chance to take inspiration and get their imaginations going by creating their own trials for Hercules to overcome.
Hercules in a tussle with the Cretian Bull.
Introducing Queen Aethra.
The Sacrifices looking for lunch.
King Minos and Queen Pasiphae
This Merchant won't know what hit him, here come the Bandits!
Following their performance during the ‘What I Want to Be!’ project in 2015, we wanted to challenge the Chameleon group on this project. We decided that the world of Ancient Greek mythology was one that would suit the role perfectly, as it is one rich in many colourful stories of heroism, adventure and, of course, monsters. Theseus and the Minotaur was chosen because not only did it have all of these things, but it is also included in the the Key Stage 2 learning curriculum. Having a team of facilitators who were very keen on the concept of Greek mythology as well, meant that there was a definite buzz of excitement when we began working in January.
Archers Ready! Androgeus wins again.
The Guard leads Theseus and the other Sacrifices to the Boat Captain.
"Theseus and the Minotaur"
The Athletes plotting against Androgeus.
As we honed in on Theseus’s grand adventure we learned about Androgeus; the former prince of Athens, a respected warrior and athlete, and role he had to play in the events that led up to Theseus’s arrival. We created our own version of the original Olympic Games to use within our story to tell how Androgeus earned many enemies in Athens and paid the ultimate price for his success.
Finally we gave the Chameleons the script for the final show: a version of Theseus and the Minotaur containing various elements that we had covered, and which they were all familiar with. Working now as a cast of ten, the Chameleons embraced the challenge of performing from a script and worked tirelessly to bring the content to life. Though there might have been words of pages, there was no stopping the Chameleons from adding more. The weeks we had spent leading up to preparation for our had filled them with ideas on how we could expand the myth, and what other characters played a part in the grand adventure.
Over many rehearsals they have created their own version of the myth quite unlike any other and have succeeded in not only bringing this tale to life, but often doing so in ways that demonstrate a maturity far beyond their years. To say this has been a successful project does not do it justice. It has been incredible and everyone, both the Chameleons and us as facilitators, have cherished being part of it.
Head Facilitators: Ben Goudling, Jake Celecia
Assistant Facilitators: Madeline Allardice, Grace O'Brien.
We would like to extend a massive thank you to Jon Primrose for his incredible physical and technical support. Additionally we would like to thank the Exeter University Drama department for providing our wonderful rehearsal and performance spaces.