Words by Adam Wilson
I took my girlfriend to see Stephen Fry’s staging of his Mythos book series on the first of three related shows, Gods, Heroes and Men, at the Oxford New Theatre a few weeks ago.
I rather wish I’d been able to spring for the other two nights as well.
I like Stephen Fry, he seems like a very nice chap, witty, erudite and engaging, and his show was exactly that.
Quite simply, he came on stage in a slightly shambling way, sat in a big leather chair and told us a story. That was the point – that mythologies are the stories our ancestors told each other, to explain why things happened or where they were and how they came to be.
At the same time, though they entertain, they’re violent and lusty and funny. They show the gods as flawed, troubled creatures who can behave as well or as badly as us.
Stephen is perfect for this. Not only is he the writer of the books but his voice has a certain gravitas that really transferred well.
Here’s the thing. It was almost entirely predictable, I kinda knew what I was going to get. I knew I was going to be pleasantly entertained, I knew I was going to be amused and I knew I was going to be told a few things I didn’t know and I knew I’d have a thoroughly jolly time.
I’m not going to rave about it because it doesn’t evoke that kind of response, but I would strongly recommend that you should see it if you possibly can.
I think you’ll feel a bit better, happier and cosier for having done so, and you’ll have a very nice time.
I do, however, really hope that the Greek gods don’t exist, and that if they do, they never notice me. It never seems to end well.