A famous Greek myth adapted as a comic-tragedy for children.
TOOT, a small travelling theatre company, and the company dog, HoneyBee, arrive at a primary school to perform their comic version of the Greek myth of Orpheus in the underworld. The story includes a singing rabbit!
*****5.0 out of 5 stars
A charming, moving and accessible foray into a forsaken world.
Anyone trying to retell Greek myths for contemporary children grapples with a proliferation of problems. Notably ancient belief systems, an alien cultural and philosophical hinterland, and a baffling array of unexpected names and motivations.
The device Jill Lamede uses, initiating the kids by way of a theatre production at a school, presents them with a scenario that they can at least recognise. And provides signposts from their own world to this apparently parallel universe.
So when the narrative itself begins barriers of incomprehension are overcome and the possibility of empathising with the characters is real.
And it is well worth the wait! I was struck by the pathos of the tale, and even though I know it well I found myself gripped by the action and seriously caring about the protagonists.
As a consequence, the inevitable unhappy ending genuinely provoked sadness.
In all, then, Toot’s Orpheus is a thought and emotion provoking read. And a gratifying contribution to a neglected genre.
The book includes an acting script and sheet music and may be used freely for education purposes.
It is available on Amazon Kindle
(PDF version available on request – just contact me.)
TOOT was a real theatre company and we toured our version of Orpheus all over Oxfordshire to great acclaim. Both children and adults loved the show, and teachers were so delighted to have an accessible way to introduce discussion of death and loss that they asked me to write this book.