THE story of how Theseus slew the minotaur, the labyrinth-dwelling half man half beast of Greek mythology, is brought to life in a new adaptation by Adam Peck.
Minotaur, now on at the Unicorn Theatre in Tooley Street, features a cast of just four who tell the story of how King Minos of Crete, so infuriated that his son was killed by King Aegeus of Athens that he demands 14 children be sent from Athens to Crete each year to be given in sacrifice to the Minotaur.
King Aegeus, weak and cowardly, agrees to this. However, when his long lost son Theseus comes back just as the first 14 children are selected, he boldly and confidently offers to go in their place.
He also promises his father he will put up white sails on the ship when he comes home to show he has been successful.
But will he be successful? The Minotaur, who has a head of a bull and the body of a man, lives alone in the labyrinth and is feared by all of those who hear about him, not least because no one has ever come out alive.
Only Ariadne, his sister, is unafraid of him and she visits him regularly to care for him while dreaming of setting them both free from the rule of their selfish father.
However, when Theseus arrives to kill the Minotaur she ends up making a decision that will change their lives forever.
It is a fascinating and well staged production - at times dark and foreboding, and at times full of humour but there is drama and tension throughout.
There is also some audience participation – and there seemed to be more than enough children willing to go on the first boat to be eaten by the Minotaur!
However it goes by a bit too quickly and the back story of the Minotaur is never fully explained, nor why Ariadne feels such an attachment.
Despite this it's entertaining and the Minotaur himself is suitably menacing and unnerving with his rusty metal head who fascinates and frightens the younger members of the audience in equal measure.
Minotaur is on at the Unicorn Theatre, Tooley Street until Saturday, April 2. Tickets cost £10 for under 18s and £16 for adults. Visit www.unicorntheatre.com/ or call the box office on 020 7645 0560.