Fabulous Creatures

Reviewer's Rating

This show has a great idea, but it hasn’t been executed amazingly.

Fabulous Creatures invites the audience to a cabaret show, starring three Greek monsters from the Odessey as told by Homer: Charybdis, Siren and Scylla. All have their own unique personalities and background stories that stay true to Greek mythology but from a different perspective.

Clytemnestra (Kate Newman), a character from Aeschylus’ Oresteia and Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis, arrives at the cabaret seeking revenge. Her husband abducted her and later killed their baby as part of a war act. Desiring vengeance, she believes the cabaret’s monsters, who relish in killing, can help her achieve this. They agree and so goes the story.

All the actors performed well, Charybdis (Hannah Van Der Westhuysen) taking charge at the beginning showing charisma and confidence. Siren (Jazz Jenkins) had a notably strong voice. Scylla’s character (also Kate Newman) had an intriguing stage presence that made the audience laugh while also slightly uncomfortable. Overall, it was a good dynamic.

The premise of the show—three monsters running a cabaret—was intriguing, but the final product was less captivating than expected. A high-budget feature film might have allowed the ideas to fully come to life with detailed scenes and sets. However, the low-budget production was evident. Although the script contained some pleasantly poetic lines, the abstract nature of the execution did not do it justice, making the performances feel like make-believe. Furthermore, the costumes, though aligned with the vision, resembled Halloween costumes and did not enhance the show.

The show has quite a few musical numbers, and the music for them was groovy and fun – the lyrics were catchy – and they individually suited each character. Nonetheless, they were used to tell stories and give background information which made them more convoluted and consequently harder to follow.

Scylla and Clytemnestra were played by the same actor, and whilst the performance was good, it hindered the overall play making it seem more choppy and less professional.

The storyline focuses on female empowerment, showcasing female monsters with unique traits and perspectives. This concept is especially intriguing for Greek mythology enthusiasts, as it aligns with the current trend of exploring myths from female characters’ viewpoints. Therefore, the play has the potential to resonate well with today’s Greek mythology fans.

All in all, the show lacked the wow-factor needed for a standout performance. The production capacity did not match the task at hand, in turn limiting the capacity of the audience to fully engage with the story. Audience reactions were mixed, and this was evidenced with members of the audience exiting early whilst others were cackling the whole time.

Writer & Director: Emily Louizou

Writer & Lyricist: Quentin Beroud

Executive Producer: Elizabeth Filippouli

Starring: Hannah Van Der Westhuysen, Jazz Jenkins, Kate Newman

Venue: The Arcola Theatre

Running time: 85 minutes (no interval)

Until Saturday 15th June

Review by Sofia Moran