It’s a brave theatre company that takes on Metamorphoses , the 2,000-year-old masterpiece of Roman literature.
Doubly so when the performance is staged by a group as young as the students and graduates of Bristol’s own Hecate Theatre.
So it’s a tribute to their burgeoning talent that their interpretation, Fables from Ovid, is so entertaining.
This second run is being staged over three nights at the rather unlikely, but rather appealing, venue of the Lansdown pub in Clifton.
In just under an hour the five actresses of the all-female group recreate six of the 15 tales in Ovid’s epic original.
Four play precocious schoolgirls telling bedtime stories under the watchful eye of their matron.
As the title would suggest they all involve transformation of some kind, and serve as a reminder of just how wonderfully twisted those old Romans were.
Don’t be fooled by the fresh faces and lily-white dresses, this play’s themes make the Saw films look like Dora the Explorer.
The hexology of stories served up incest, cannibalism, gender bending and murder – if the Daily Mail had existed in the year 8AD it would have had a field day.
As each performer tells her tale they flit between comedy and tragedy, but it’s the humorous material that works best.
Glenys Leigh McIntyre as Amy and Hannah-Marie Chidwick as Amy show particularly fine comic timing.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for students, some of these re-interpretations feature a healthy dose of Monty Python – the Castle Anthrax sequence from Holy Grail especially.
While some of the stories could have been fleshed out a bit more to make the play longer, there’s plenty of promise here.
And as it’s all over by 9pm you’ll have plenty of time to hit the bar downstairs, and discuss just how twisted our ancestors were over a few pints.