The Man Behind The Mythos: Stephen Fry’s Journey To The London Palladium

Posted on 6 August 2019

For the first time since the '80s, the wonderful wordsmith, Stephen Fry, is about to embark on a tour around the UK. And he’s chosen no small themes to grapple with during this one-man odyssey  – love, war, peace… Three shows. Three nights. Each one offering tales of epic proportions...

Actually, Mythos is more of a trilogy and it's already running along on winged-feet after a successful premiere in Canada and a mighty reception from critics and audiences. The trilogy will soon open at the Edinburgh International Festival on August 19th, after which it will meander across the sceptred British Isles - as will Fry, like the travelling bards of Chaucer's days - before finally finishing with a swansong show on September 23rd at the Sage in Gateshead. Based on Fry’s best-selling book, Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold, the performances will carry a healthy amount of wisdom and humour – something for listeners of all ages as Fry guides us under his three chosen umbrellas: Gods, Heroes and Men.

Generally speaking, Men will focus on the Trojan War and Odysseus’s journey home. Heroes will explore the legends of Hercules, Theseus and Perseus and, finally, Gods will take us back to the origins of the Greek pantheon, adhering to a “loosely scripted” format, whilst also leaving room for Fry to flex his trademark wit and charm. 

So, the great storyteller and world-renowned wordsmith will take us all on journeys across the weathered pages of Greek mythology, from Homeric legends, like the virtue-wrapped stories of Achilles, Perseus and Theseus, to the sandy plains of the Trojan War and on into the thorny tangles of the supernatural, describing encounters with hulking colossi, like the Minotaur and the one-eyed Cyclops, and even delving into the construction of the Greek pantheon, amongst the storm-hewn ridges of Mount Olympus. Each night with make accessible those primordial dramas of revenge and chaos, The show will find its way to the London Palladium in the middle of its UK tour. 

The Fry Effect: A Modern Take On Greek Mythology

In 1808 Charles Lamb revived The Odyssey for a younger generation with The Adventures of Ulysses - thus began a period of recovering Greek myths and legends, which continued through to Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths in 1955. Today the original poetry and inspiration still lives in a contemporary resounding of those earliest echoes of human civilisation. The records of conflict and the heroes and Gods of old are immortalised in modern prose, alongside the ancient lessons and themes, translated into modern language and dusted off with the original lessons and archetypes still finding their feet in the 21st century. Fry is the latest to unearth these tales and find their inner relevance to modern audiences. The show has been called “laugh-out loud funny, mind-blowing and often personal” – that last one might come as a surprise, but it seems to describe the timeless genius of this ancient culture, to which we owe so much in the western world.

The last time Fry toured it was with comedy partner and good friend Hugh Laurie, way back in the days of A Bit of Fry & Laurie, when they were lending their improvisational guises to quick-fire Python-esque sketches. Shortly afterwards Fry could be found wielding TV’s bushiest moustache (amongst other guises) in Blackadder – not to mention him being the host of QI for 13 years. Fry also busied himself writing his debut novel ‘The Liar’, which was adapted for the big screen and he starred in his most unflattering role to date in The Hobbit and played Malvolio at Shakespeare’s Globe. And yet our personal favourite, amongst his witty wanderings around America, was the wonderful Last Chance To See, when Fry went completely out of his element with wildlife photographer Mark Cawardine, following a journey based on the Douglas Adams’ novel of the same name, in pursuit of slow-walking parrots, large-eyed lemurs and everything furry in between.

Asked how he felt to finally be back on the road with a pocketful of Greek myths and his mind on Minotaurs, Fry remarked: “I am shivering and quivering with excitement, at the thought of a UK tour, taking the astounding stories and characters from Greek myth around the UK.”

Tickets are selling out fast! Book now for a night on pillared clouds with one of this country’s greatest storytellers.

🎫Book now with no fees to Mythos: Gods for 13 September 7.30pm.

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