Award-winning theatre company Metta Theatre are pleased to release a cast EP and music video for The Minotaur. Award-winning writer/director P Burton-Morgan (The Rhythmics, HouseFire, In The Willows) and composer Felix Hagan (Operation Mincemeat, HouseFire) reunite on a musical based on the Greek myth of The Minotaur – as a metaphor for fossil-fuel induced climate collapse and the inspiring power of community coming together to rise above denial, greed and devastation.
The EP features Janie Dee as ‘Pasiphae’, Arthur Darvill as ‘Theseus’, Zweyla Mitchell dos Santos as ‘Ariadne’, Neil McDermott as ‘Daedalus’ and Robin Simoes da Silva as ‘Icarus’.
The music video of ‘Singing Our Song’ is choreographed by Mark Smith (The Color Purple, Deaf Men Dancing) with Andy Staples as Director of Photography, edited by William Reynolds, and with BSL translation by Deepa Shastri. The film features Sue Appleby as ‘Pasiphae’ (with vocals by Zweyla Mitchell dos Santos) and Natasha Julien as ‘Ariadne’, (with vocals by Janie Dee).
Commissioned by digital support agency The Space and Metta Theatre, this iteration of the project has been created both as a work of art in its own right to raise awareness of climate justice, and also as a digital calling card to venues and producers interested in coming on board to develop the full stage musical, which will eventually be a large-scale musical for 5 professional performers and a community cast of 100.
The beleaguered mining community of Crete, under the controls of their tyrannical ruler Queen Pasiphae must continue to feed the capitalist beast in the heart of the labyrinth of mines, or face death. Young Theseus, an outsider who has finally abandoned his own mining career tries to impress the nature loving daughter of Pasiphae, Ariadne.
Despite Ariadne’s pleas to her mother to reconnect with nature and her own cold heart, trying to dismantle late-stage capitalism single handily is too much for any one individual, so with the help of inventor Daedalus and his striving ambitious child Icarus, they must convince the local community to work together to reimagine a new climate conscious future.
But once the belching smoke of the Minotaur has cleared and the lung-irritating coal dust has settled, they must overcome a far greater monster than the machine itself. Can the community succeed in the face of corporate capitalist greed? Things are heating up on Crete…
William Reynolds said, “After a year of extremes, climate breakdown is no longer an idea for the future, but a visceral reality across the world – and Putin’s weaponisation of energy starkly highlights the danger of our addiction to the fossil fuels causing all the damage. It’s never been more pressing for theatre to engage with the Climate & Ecological Crises, and after pioneering environmental sustainable production for over a decade I’m so excited to be developing this urgent and optimistic show which engages so deftly with such huge, vital issues of climate justice and the power of community.”
P Burton-Morgan said, “This year has shown even those on the fence that we can no longer ignore the threat of the climate crisis. This new musical unpacks some of the climate crisis complexities but most of all engages on an emotional level with a subject that sometimes feels too big to connect to. And as always there’s a seed of hope.”
Established in 2005 by P Burton-Morgan and Motley trained Designer William Reynolds, Metta Theatre has been at the forefront of new work – with a strong focus on the development of new British musical theatre, and a commitment to highlighting climate justice and sustainability; as well as celebrating all forms of diversity.
Over the pandemic, they released a range of digital content including 5 cast albums, 7 music videos/short films and the digital musical Cells (Season One) which has had over 40,000 views across YouTube and Facebook. In December 2021 they premiered their new musical THE RHYTHMICS at Southwark Playhouse, which was tragically cancelled on the morning of its rescheduled press night due to covid.
Prior to the pandemic Metta were one of the UK’s leading mid-scale touring companies – known for combining emotionally powerful performances with imaginative theatricality and striking visual style. Previous productions include their smash hit street-dance Jungle Book(Theatre Royal Windsor & UK tour), circus-musical Little Mermaid (Theatre By The Lake & UK tour) and In The Willows (Exeter Northcott & UK tour), Mouthful (Trafalgar Studios) and Arab Nights (Soho Theatre & UK tour).
In 2020, Artistic Director William Reynolds launched Metta Green – an environmental sustainability consultancy providing bespoke, practical help for companies, venues, productions and individuals to understand and reduce their environmental impacts as well as encouraging wider consciousness raising about the climate and ecological crisis. In 2022, they launched MettaMorphosis, a programme of free artist mentoring and support.