An exciting improvised comedy show is coming to the Corpus Playroom next week. To give us a taste of what to expect, some of the gods, monsters and mortals who have been at rehearsals tell us* about how they came to be mythologised. *As told to the show’s producer, Carla Keen
Be part of a creation story (ASLAN)
I know what you’re thinking, so I’ll address it at the start. Does Narnia really count? Well, feelings of being patronised aside, my answer would be that gods and monsters appear in similar incarnations across the world and across time, so essentially, I’m a re-interpretation of a story you already know.
While I might appear to be a fearsome lion (the symbolism of which there isn’t time enough to explain here), I have chosen to be benevolent and so breathe life into beings infused with the spirit of compassion. However, I have also elected to give them free will, so you’ve got to expect trouble, haven’t you?
Explain the unexplainable (PERSEPHONE)
You think being a teenager is tough? Try doing it while you are the personification of vegetation and destined to live half your life underground. But I know that the seasons are a difficult thing to understand. So, you say when I’m in the Underworld everything is cold and crops don’t grow, and when I'm above ground, everything brightens and it’s all awesome sauce. It would be difficult to explain otherwise, wouldn't it? At least it means you can have Christmas.
I'm not sure which is better, the Underworld or the Overworld. Frankly, I'd just settle for being one or the other because joint custody sucks big time.
Be a tale of caution (ICARUS)
Yeah, no, so like everyone’s got me wrong, I totally didn't mean to fly so close. It was just that I sort of…I couldn't see very well…and…anyway my dad made us these kick-ass wings from wax and feathers, and he was all like, “don’t fly too close to the sun, son” (he thought that was funny.) But you know, I was just drawn to it…I was having a great time and…well you know the rest.
Anyway, now I’m a legend because everyone knows the middle path is best, don’t fly to close to the sun!
Be symbolic of an inner struggle (BLACK WOLF AND WHITE WOLF)
WHITE WOLF: Not many of you will have heard of us. We’re from a Cherokee story. A grandfather tells his grandson that inside each person’s chest there are two wolves inside fighting between what’s good and evil.
BLACK WOLF: I ate the grandfather, I was hungry.
WHITE WOLF: No, that’s a different fable, but thank you for your input. The grandson asks which wolf wins out.
BLACK WOLF: Black, which is fear, anger, envy, jealousy…all the fun things.
WHITE WOLF: Or White, peace, love, hope and courage. And the grandfather says…
BLACK WOLF: Evil because it’s the most fun!
WHITE WOLF: He says, whichever one we feed.
Be entertaining (ANANSI)
I've developed bit of a reputation as a wide boy, but I'm just having a laugh really. In many ways I don't care who you are, man or god, I'll happily tell you a story. In most stories I’m a spider or spiderman (no, not Tom Holland) but I’m always a trickster. There’s a version of me in most cultures.
Generally, I like to oppose the will of the gods, get on their nerves, steal things – which usually ends in misfortune for mere mortals like you, but I’m only having a laugh, right? I once stole all the stories from a sky god who was hoarding them, so you can thank me for that, otherwise the world would be a really boring place.
Imagine a world without Netflix. Woah.
You can meet these and other legendary figures at GODS AND MONSTERS at the Corpus Playroom, running from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st July at 7.45pm. Tickets are available here.