Fabulous Creatures

Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Arcola Theatre, London
Cast: Kate Newman, Jazz Jenkins and Hannah van der Westhuysen

Welcome to the Monstrous Cabaret Club, a place to drown more than your sorrows, where the acts are unreal and the voices to die for! Whether you’re strapping in for the Sirens or caught between Scylla and Charybdis, you’re in for a night you’ll never survive forget!

Once the pre-eminent killers of the mythical age, who even Gods would turn to for their dirty work, they’ve long given up their licence to kill. Now they run a private club hidden somewhere between Mount Olympus and the Underworld.

What happens when you combine two Greek myths with techno music, extravagant costumes, cabaret vibes, and three ridiculously talented performers? If you want to find out, you definitely need to see "Fabulous Creatures," currently playing at the Arcola Theatre.

Written by Emily Louizou and Quentin Beroud from Collide Theatre, "Fabulous Creatures" is an innovative story based on three female mythical monsters—Scylla, Charybdis, and the Siren. After years of working hard together and killing sailors who came near them, they gave up their deadly jobs because they failed to kill a few of their targets, including the most hated Odysseus. They then opened the Monstrous Cabaret Club, where they now express themselves in a completely different way. Their new, predictable, and comfortable life takes an unexpected turn when Clytemnestra finds their shelter and begs them to return to their lethal ways to kill one more man: the cruel and heartless King Agamemnon.

The story is presented in a way you'd never expect from a Greek myth. The performances fill the tiny stage, making it feel expansive and immersive. Hannah van der Westhuysen shines as Charybdis, the cabaret's emcee, with a performance that is humorous, playful, and constantly engaging with the audience. Their charisma and comedic timing bring a refreshing energy to the character, making Charybdis both formidable and endearing. Jazz Jenkins, as the Siren, captivates with her stunning voice and mesmerizing presence. Her vocal prowess is matched by her ability to convey deep emotion, making every song a hauntingly beautiful experience. 

Kate Newman, playing both Scylla and Clytemnestra, demonstrates impressive versatility, portraying Scylla as an eccentric six-headed dog and transforming into a serious, determined Clytemnestra. Newman's nuanced performances bring depth to both roles, highlighting her ability to switch seamlessly between the edgy, wild nature of Scylla and the resolute manner of Clytemnestra. As a trio, they create a dynamic and electrifying synergy on stage, blending their unique talents to produce a truly exciting show.

The music by Irene Skylakaki is a highlight, blending extravagant techno vibes with the ancient myths. David Doyle’s lighting design enhances the experience, creating a trance-like atmosphere. The colorful and creative costumes and set by Ismini Papaioannou, paired with Ioli Filippakopoulou’s clever choreography, make for an unforgettable visual feast.

"Fabulous Creatures" is a unique fusion of ancient myth and modern elements, with a fresh breeze of youth, extravagance, bold humor, and unexpected visuals. As Charybdis says, it’s the "pinnacle of terrifying femininity." Beyond its visual and musical delights, it’s also a story about fighting evil, overcoming fears, and sisterhood. Go and see this unmissable show before its final performance on 15th June 2024!

You can book tickets to see Fabulous Creatures at the Arcola Theatre, here.

Review by Maria

**photo credit: Sophie Giddens**

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