Zeus On The Loose Is Slack Mythology In A Vauxhall Cave
There's nothing remotely Olympian about a musty underground cave in Vauxhall. Luckily Zeus on the Loose — directed by Emma Rollason and produced by Pandora's Box — which is about feuding Greek gods, showcases a smorgasbord of dance, burlesque, acro-circus and comedy in both Olympus and the underworld, so not all is lost on the imagination.
The for-adults-only raunchy tone is set at the get-go, by a naughty gay MC who uses sexual innuendos and audience participation to stir up the room. It feels like a page out of a cheap game show, and is laughable — yet requisite — in every sense and somehow works.
The vague story arc bridging the ensuing hours of tantalising stage acts is that of Zeus betraying his wife Hera (again) with Aphrodite's lesbian sister. The show includes (among many other performers) an upside down, back arching Artemis arching and drag star Vicky Vox as Hades singing, conspiring, joking and looking mesmerising in her costume and makeup.
Everything is over the top, loose on purpose and requires a deep commitment of the imagination. For example, dramatic sound effects and crazy bright lighting — imagine a meaningless massive overheard blue tanning bed light — which accentuates the action at hand and makes for a feast of all senses. Unfortunately sound issues occasionally drown out the singing and the dank, confined space prevents both the audience's imagination and these talented and promiscuous Gods from roaming as figuratively free as they would like.
In the end a trouble-making God is exonerated, an erotic strip tease ensues and everyone parties in Hades. It makes for a strong, fiery finish with some welcome pyro-technics. With a humour geared towards those au fait with London's LGBTQ scene, this flagrant yet rough performance can make for an undeniably sexy, fun and different night out with friends in the right myth-minded mindset.
Zeus on the Loose, Fire Night Club, 44 Parry Street, Vauxhall, SW8 1RU, £19.50-£34.50. Until 19 October
Last Updated 07 October 2019