Review of 'Stephen Fry Mythos - A Trilogy: Heroes'


We are big fans of Stephen Fry. He is so intelligent, witty, and entertaining he enthralled any time he opens his mouth so coupled with his arid-dry humour he is a force to be reckoned with. Recently he has written several novels retelling the stories of ancient Greece using modern speech (though, it has to be said, in no way changing the settings or names): Mythos, and Heroes. Following on from these he has three live Mythos stage shoes: Gods, Heroes, and Men. The ticket prices are quite high so we were initially put off from attending but we ended up with a great price and decided to go see “Heroes” at the London Palladium. We are very, very glad we did.

The show consists of Fry on the stage talking with only a comfortable chair with table holding his drink and a set of seven large tall, rectangular screens behind him for the occasional video display. Over the course of about 2 3/4 hours (including a 20 minute interval) Fry simply talks through the stories of ancient Greece starting with the stories of Pericles and Hercules then, after the interval, finishing with Theseus. There were elements of audience participation, for example, with our picking one of the labours of Hercules for Fry to discuss and also our ability to send Fry questions (using social media) in the interval for him to answer when he returned to the stage (“What is the most extreme ancient Greek story?” “What ancient Greek stories would you recommend for young students?”).

It was amazing to see Fry on the stage talking basically non stop for the entire show without a script or auto-cue and keeping all of the names, places, and details straight (and there were a lot of these) however it was the compelling nature of the show that truly astounded. You could not hear a pin drop as the audience was held in rapt attention throughout. Fry's trademark whit was often exhibited with the occasional quip about modern life thrown into the narrative but this only added to the relaxed feeling of the event. On occasion his backdrop would seamlessly change to illustrate one of the points he was making, perhaps a map or a picture of one or several of the characters. This served to at least saved the audience from staring at Fry for the whole evening and really added to the experience, never detracting from the narrative.

An incredible demonstration of story-telling from a master; compelling and engaging throughout. Most definitely worth seeing even if, as myself, you know very little of Greek mythology.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2019-09-16

London Palladium

Location: London (England)

Address: Argyll Street, London England, W1F 7TF

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 412 4655


The grand old daddy of London theatres, the Palladium has a long and illustrious history of Vaudeville, pantomime, the Royal Variety Performance show (held yearly as a “command performance” for the royal family), “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” live television show as well as big modern musicals including the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Access to the theatre is simple as it is immediately adjacent to Oxford Circus and on a quiet side street that is (normally) vehicle free. The interior of the theatre is magnificent in a classical way having been recently restored.