Roll up for a cheeky retelling of Odysseus and the Cyclops. Charismatic resident storyteller Michael Loader and teacher-musician Tom Veck have constructed a calm yet joyful, if slightly inaudible, Glorious Greeks! experience at St George’s in Bristol city centre.
We were introduced to Odysseus (Loader) who tells his own tale and his elderly father (Veck), who plays the guitar and looked impressively young for someone in his 90s. They try but sadly fail to get the stodgy crowd on their feet dancing, which was disappointing and I knew I’d left my native muesli triangle (St Werburghs) when I was virtually the only person roaring my head off at the opening Brexit jokes. Or maybe it’s just too early? Yes that must be it! This is Bristol, after all.
The majority of the many funny bits were well-pitched for children (and me) with plenty of fart jokes and gross mental imagery; there were a surprising number of children volunteering to be skewered for the cyclops’ unconventional barbeque; I’ve no eye-dea why. Sorry (not sorry).
The show would have done better in a more intimate venue. The combination of bad acoustics in the hall and some atmospherically quiet storytelling meant we struggled to follow the story and feel involved; my children were unusually fidgety and distracted as a result. Also, the smattering of sexism which, to be fair, it seems hard to get away from with traditional tales, was off-putting and I do think they could have tried harder.
Despite these things my six year old enthusiastically exclaimed her love for the show and then got stuck into the craft activity led by the performers that followed, which was a lovely touch. This undeniably charming show was an enjoyable experience, despite its shortcomings.
See what else is coming up at St George’s Bristol here
Review by Emma-Louise Hardman