BYTES - Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence - had a very successful 2018 at the Anywhere Festival, with their Sunshine Coast award-winning, swimming pool play, Metamorphoses. So where to now? In 2019 the BYTES theatre company is taking audiences on another immersive 'anywhere' experience - Ariadne - a journey into the labyrinth of Minos, with the incredibly unique setting of the Bellingham Maze in Tanawha on the Sunshine Coast, as the backdrop.
So who exactly is Ariadne? According to Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos and they lived on the island of Crete. King Minos kept attacking the village of Athens for no other reason than boredom. The king of Athens was desperate that his little village not be attacked and so made a deal with King Minos, offering to send King Minos seven boys and seven girls every nine years to be fed to the minotaur, the awful monster that King Minos kept as a pet.
Ariadne is an immersive 'anywhere' experience - Image: BYTES FB
Prince Theseus, the son of the king of Athens was not happy about feeding children to the minotaur and decided one year to go as the seventh Athenian boy. His aim was not to be eaten, but rather to kill the minotaur and hence with, end the reign of terror. On arrival in Crete, Princess Ariadne noticed Prince Theseus immediately, and sent him a note, which read:
I am a beautiful princess as you probably noticed the minute you saw me. I am also a very bored princess. Without my help, the Minotaur will surely gobble you up. I know a trick or two that will save your life. If I help you kill the monster, you must promise to take me away from this tiny island so that others can admire my beauty. If interested in this deal, meet me by the gate to the Labyrinth in one hour.
Find yourself lost ... in the labyrinth - Image: author
Prince Theseus slipped out of the palace and waited patiently for the princess to show up. Princess Ariadne carried a sword and a ball of string, which she gave to Prince Theseus, advising him to tie the string to the door of the labryrinth and to unroll it as he moved through the maze, thus enabling him to find his way back. And, of course, the sword was to kill the minotaur!
Using the sword Ariadne gave him, Theseus killed the monstrous beast and made his way out of the maze, where Princess Ariadne was waiting. They ran quickly to their ship and sailed quietly away. On their way home to Athens they stopped for supplies on the tiny island of Naxos, where Princess Ariadne insisted on going ashore. With nothing much to do, the princess soon became bored and fell asleep. All the people of the island gathered to admire the sleeping princess' beauty. Prince Theseus sailed quietly away with the children of Athens and left Ariadne sleeping on the island of Naxos.
After all, a deal is a deal and he had agreed to take her away to be admired by others.
The Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur will be explored in a spellbinding fusion of voice and movement in Ariadne, as BYTES takes the audience on a journey through the maze, whilst bringing the tale of Ariadne to life. The literal twists and turns of the labyrinth path, will have audiences following the narrative or finding themselves returning to past scenes, before continuing forward to discover unexplored avenues.
Only Ariadne can get audiences through the maze with her red thread - proving that to find oneself, one first has to get lost!
Special Instructions for guests: The Ariadne experience will be playing four times a night on a loop and will commence promptly at the performance time. Patrons are advised that latecomers may not be able to catch up and may indeed find themselves 'lost in the labyrinth'. For this reason, patrons who are not present at the start time of the performance will not be permitted admission and may need to attend the next session, if space allows. The Ariadne performance requires the audience to journey into the labyrinth with the cast as they move through the maze; and as such there will be 'standing room' only or 'walking stick seats'.
The author's preview is on the forthcoming Ariadne as part of the Anywhere Festival, and as such has no 'insider information'. The story of Ariadne and Theseus has been researched by the writer, via a website specifically aimed at students, namely, www.greece.mrdonn.org. I feel sure that BYTES have adapted the story of Ariadne to suit modern day audiences and as such, I am not aware how closely their production will relate to the original myth, if at all. Personally, I always love a good story, so thought a bit of 'mythical background' to what sounds like a fabulous production, might be appropriate.