This show finished on Saturday 02 December 2023, and this page is being kept for archival purposes only.

Monty Panto and the 12-ish Labours

In the beginning was the game, the game was with God, and the game *was* God.


Wednesday 29 November - Saturday 02 December 2023


Bedlam Theatre


£6/7/9 + £1 booking fee on the door


Miki Ivan & Fiona Connor


It’s 1BC, the gods are on high, watching the Nativity, and the villagers are elated at the prospects of the future. Unfortunately, someone isn’t happy, and maybe, sort of well, entirely annihilates the Nativity. The blame lands on Hercules, the most extraordinary hero of the Grecian era, who is tasked with 12-(ish) labours. Can he complete his missions, and restore peace to the world?

Come along to Bedlam this Christmas time for some crazy crustaceans, myth mixups and far, far too much falafel.

Cast and Crew


Actor (Brian Cox / Howard) Asta Knight

Actor (Ensemble) Aytac Cura

Actor (Ensemble) Alexander Németh

Actor (Ensemble) Martyna Lipok

Actor (Falafel shop employee / Ensemble) Lucie Benninghaus

Actor (God) Eleanor Kinninmonth

Actor (Hera) Seamus Coyle

Actor (Hercules) Charlie Ringrose

Actor (Hermes) Alice Sikora

Actor (Herod / Ensemble) Tatiana Kacmarska

Actor (Jarred / Minotaur) Lucien Ngai

Actor (Ryan Crocs / Ensemble) Jack Greengross

Actor (Tamatwoa) Tara Healy

Actor (Theseus / Ensemble) Luke Hardwick

Actor (Zeus) Jacob Jolliffe

Assistant Producer Ching Zhan

Co-Writer (Physics Consultant) / Co-Choreographer / Set Assistant Fiona Connor

Costume Assistant Anwen Baker

Costume Assistant Lisa Kislova

Costume Manager Chloe Lannert

Director / Co-Writer / Co-Choreographer Miki Ivan

Lighting Assistant Zara Bathurst

Lighting Assistant Veronica Yung

Lighting Designer Carys Hrebenar

Lyricist (Scientific Supervisor) / Co-Choreographer Lewis Eggeling

Musical Director Freya White

Producer India Hunter

Set Assistant Tihani Binti Shahrudin

Set Assistant (Jeremy Stand-in) Luca Stier

Set Manager Holly Spragg

Sound Assistant Maysan Abdidayim

Sound Assistant Cat Chapman

Sound Designer Atalanta Lewis

Stage Assistant Louis Taylor

Stage Manager Lauralyn Gibson

Tech Manager Leon Lee

Tech Manager Yining Xie

Welfare Em Leites McPherson

Monty Panto and the 12(ish) Labours -

Wednesday 29 November - By Jon White for All Edinburgh Theatre

In Monty Panto and the 12(ish) Labours at the Bedlam, mixed messages purposefully run riot. While it is neither quite a panto nor yet a full tribute to Monty Python, it provides solid entertainment from beginning to end.

In a novel take on the labours of Hercules, the script, by director Miki Ivan and choreographer Fiona Connor, weaves together a reimagining of the nativity as an infanticide and a revisiting of Disney’s Moana’s Tomatwoa (think “shiny”, now “itchy”). The pair sprinkle humour throughout, with witty remarks linking the seemingly disparate topics of religion, Greek mythology, Physics and falafel.

As in the age-old tales, God (Eleanor Kinnimonth) and Hera (Seamus Coyle) have a falling out over a simple game of chess. In her defeat, Hera elects to punish God by tricking Jacob Jolliffe’s gullible Zeus into destroying God’s son Jesus at the scene of his birth, the well-known nativity.

Surprisingly, Hercules (Charlie Ringrose) is blamed for the whole Nativity debacle and must repent by performing various labours and tasks; some well-known and others less so. Eventually, all is resolved by a doughnut falling from Heaven.

There is a strong theme of comic miscommunication throughout, including an overworked, yet energetic Hermes (Alice Sikora) playing their classic role. When Hera tells Zeus to instruct Hercules to kill “Angel Gabriel” this is misheard by Zeus as “bring me coconut crab sandwich”. When sent to complete King Herod (Tatiana Kacmarska)’s labours, Hercules proclaims to see Jarred (Lucien Ngai) or Howard (Asta Knight), not Herod or whatever they’re called.

Popular music is peppered throughout the production. Lyricist, Lewis Eggeling and Musical Director Freya White reimagine Hairspray’s Welcome to the 60s as Welcome to 1BC for the birth of Christ. The bulk of Hercules’ labours are performed to a version of I Need a Hero.

The standout performance both for musicality and acting in their many roles comes from Asta Knight. In the ensemble, your eye is often drawn to their reactions and commitment to character. However, Knight’s outstanding performance, as Brian Cox for the Gilbert and Sullivan parody I am the paragon of a perplexing Physicist, steals the show.

Against the backdrop of an impressive raised pergola and a mural of Olympus, there is excellent gender blindness in the casting of characters such that it almost needs no mention and feels completely natural.

While entertaining, the overall plot is confused and lacks real purpose and direction with the ending hastily pulled together. Despite the name, there are few consistent, clear references to Monty Python and, unfortunately, little panto until the final few scenes. Nevertheless, the large cast and crew’s delivery, humour and dedication create an enjoyable and convivial show.

Running time: Two hours and 15 minutes (including one interval)

Monty Panto and the 12(ish) Labours -

Friday 01 December - By Dominic Corr for Corr Blimey

The idea of centring a pantomime off the backs of Greecian and Christian mythos is gutsy; in credit to writers Miki Ivan and Fiona Connor, it’s also a clever and well-devised one. Utilising the Greek pantheons’ relationship with the emerging God of the Christian faith, fast becoming the numero uno, offers an engaging dynamic, leading to a frankly hilarious set-up in which the son of god finds their life cut even shorter. Mixed with an abstractive choice of humour which rings of the Monty Python crew’s landmark routines and films (the whole show captures that Holy Grail and Spamalot vibe), Monty Python and the 12(ish) Labours promises to be as sharply well-devised as it is outlandishly enjoyable.

Making a merciful deviation from the rest of Edinburgh’s pantomime season, the Bedlam Theatre panto always departs from the traditional – with a fresh premise featuring new songs, routines, characters, and plots. Monty Python and the 12(ish) Labours is no different – featuring most of the beats of a recognisable pantomime, with a few additional elements which stand it apart. Conceptually, that Hera frames Zeus’ son Hercules as the murderer of Jesus Christ is bewilderingly bold if only the gusto in creation carried into the chutzpah of the whole cast.

As the Almighty one themselves, Eleanor Kinninmonth delivers a subtle and more humorous and quick-witted delivery than the script allows. Their softer, more refined use of comedy balances the more anarchist styles of Seamus Coyle’s villainous Hera, Queen of the gods, and serves a distinctive style of sass, venom, and the very model of modern major hunty. Ex-pals, ex-lovers, and vying for the position of the top dog of the omnipotent world, the pair’s meddling and bickering make for some excellent routines and comedy, with Coyle’s solo vocals and presence a powerhouse, makes for an engaging sense of character – particularly when they cross paths with a rod-wielding lothario…

Tying these two together is the lad your pals have warned you about, who you cannot change (despite what you think), and who likely hasn’t paid for a meal in aeons. But by lord, he’s good at a party that Zeus. A revolting concoction of an early Etonian colliding with a Surfer dude, Jacob Jolliffe’s nonchalant delivery brings such a silly sense of humour that you can’t help but adore the character. Even if he is an arse. But Zeus did do one good thing, siring the demi-god who brought the world a spiffing Disney gospel musical: Hercules.

Never has a gym bro been more acceptable than with Charlie Ringrose’s Hercules, our loveable hero and Panto goodie tasked with fulfilling these useless noble labours – when all they really want is to have a ciggy. Possibly the strongest (all puns intended) asset to the production, Ringrose’s delivery shifts from the exasperated to the playful as Hercules, as they are tasked with slaying dragons and hunting out everyone’s favourite singer/physicist Brian Cox, played with mirth by Asta Knight, who turns in a well-devised spin on some Gilbert & Sullivan and makes theoretical physics fun with Lewis Eggeling’s lyrics.

Monty Panto and the 12(ish) Labours stumbles occur openly, but never to the extent where enjoyment wanes. There’s an imbalance with Ivan and Connor’s writing – requiring a second thought to grasp entirely what the joke was but occasionally constructed with a sharp wit and engaging concept. It’s a demonstration of less being more; Hermes endlessly delivers letters to and from the deities (and Jarred and Howard) is a highlight of fast-paced comedy and exaggerated physical comedy, and works triumphantly. Alice Sikora never disappoints as the messenger god, brimming with energy and commitment to the bit, delivering some of the strongest one-liners and exasperated expressions to the bickering gods.

A wide array of ensemble performers, side routines and variety skits make up the bulk of the show while our principal mains like Zeus are off doing censored, other things. The quality shifts for these lightly comedic to musical moments (special mention to Tara Healy’s twist on Moana’s Shiny), but they often share one significant issue which could propel Monty Panto into a smash-hit experience: projection. Lucie Benninghaus, Aytac Kagan Cura, Martyna Lipok, and Alexander Németh all give it a good go, even turning in some unexpected winners like the Falafel vendor, cursed by Hades to sell an endless supply of themed wraps. When characters are delivered with gusto – even the most groan-inducing gags are sold with confidence, but here there’s a distinct lack of stage presence from some performers.

It’s difficult for those who may not carry the same level of confidence or technique when it comes to vocals, but the beauty of Panto is no one expects Pavarotti or Tay Tay – the audience is here to have fun and embrace the ridiculousness. There are attempts at the more traditional Panto elements of audience interaction (shout out to Gavin for being a terrific sport) and a singing contest, but they do come over as a touch trite and stapled in for the sake of it. The cast can work the crowds, Sikora and Ringrose becoming almost violent in ensuring the crowd is giving it their all and could likely handle a few more inclusive moments of shlocky panto magic.

Irrespective, what Monty Panto and the 12(ish) Labours has going for it is the quintessential core of a pantomime: variety, fun, and spirit. There’s an effort here, sterling work from across the board, and an evident insight that the team are here to offer up a good time and to enjoy themselves. Bold, occasionally filthy, with a good go and a splash more welly, the Bedlam Theatre Pantomime will entertain, tickle, and blow off some steam from a busy semester.

Plenty of Variety, Fun, and Spirit

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