I have been doing a lot of lessons recently with my students where we have been talking about original Greek/Roman myth and how they have been reimagined in media such as the little mermaid or Percy Jackson. This has allowed me to look back into the stories of ancient myths and let me tell you, there are some very exciting and interesting stories full of wonderful creatures, adventure and incredible heroes! I was surprised in one lesson where I flippantly mentioned the Minotaur and labyrinth story which none of the children knew of. To me, this is a story everyone talks about in primary and so for my students to have no experience of the story at all was surprising. This is the story that was the main driving force for the new musical currently in production titled ‘Unwound: beyond the labyrinth’ and I have realised that through listening to this show that I also don’t know as much as I should about the Characters and their backstories. The show is based on the story of Ariadne who was the daughter of King Minos with the labyrinth being created for the later. The story is that Ariadne creates this idea to use thread to help navigate the maze which is heavily influenced by the Ancient Greek myth.
This show has developed the early stages of the demo album which is available entirely for free on YouTube! These are described as ‘rough demo’ tracks which means that they will continue to develop in the future and so when we eventually see this show performed live it maybe be a very different show from what it originally way. Every song on this album is performed by the creators of the show Amanda Gulla with just a piano accompaniment/some audio effects. Being able to write, produce, perform and record a one-person show where are the roles are differentiated from one another is a very difficult thing to do and so all the praise should be given to Amanda for this! There are 21 tracks in the entirety of the show and so you do feel as if you are listening to a full-length musical rather than just a sample.
The opening number is this recording is titled “the tale of Ariadne” which delivers are the drama that an opening number should do! There is a clever use of audio effects within the number that made me hope that when stagger we will see loads of smoke and dramatic lighting to make for an incredible viewing experience. There was a line in this number that is so incredibly powerful now considering the current global situation. One of the characters sings “I’m an actor without a stage” which know will affect loads of the listeners especially if they are hoping to peruse a career in theatre. ‘What now’ follows on from this sense of loss direction that many people are currently feeling (especially the theatre kids mentioned earlier.) The song “does my brother have a name” takes the listeners on a musical journey through the high and low points the character is experiencing.
The song ‘Ariadne’s lament 2.1’ was a very emotionally driven song that was performed excellently by Amanda. Vocals wise this was one of the best-performed songs in the entire demo album which was fantastic to listen to! ‘Cages 2.0’ opens up with an almost rap/spoken word poetry that was a very modern inclusion that contrasted the rest of the songs in this show. I enjoy this contrast with the rapping reappearing at multiple points throughout the song. There are multiple iterations of the cages songs all of which are slightly different. Talking about contrasts, the song ‘Hey dad’ is a more cynical and upbeat song that continues a great sense of comedy. The music had been developing to perfectly represents the breakdown of the character. My favourite song had to be “Semele” where the sensual tone in Amanda’s voice worked well with the content of the song.
Overall, this is an exciting project that shows fantastic promise from the early stages of the song that are available on YouTube. I am aware that the cast are planning an online concert in the near future and so I would recommend that everyone keeps their eyes on the project! I would rate this show 3.5 stars out of 5 but I do not doubt that as the show progresses on its journey it will become even better!