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The Haggis, The Spaceman and the Glaswegian Elvis (based on Theseus and the Minotaur)

Over the past two Saturdays I have worked with Whizz Kids Clubs in Scotland. In the first session we told Theseus and the Minotaur. I then challenged the group to make up characters who might live in an alternative labyrinth. The characters were so spectacular that I decided to throw them all into one wacky and wonderful reinterpretation of Theseus and the Minotaur. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed telling it.

Dramatis Personae

The Purple Haggis – King Aegeus

The Emperor Zurg – King Minos

The Half Pig Man from Granny’s Farm – Theseus

The Fire Monster – The Minotaur

Elvis with a sooth tooth and in need of a haircut – Ariadne

The Story

Not so very long ago the Emperor Zurg from the fifth quadrant had sent his warships to attack the people of Scotland.  To protect them their leader, a purple Haggis from the shores of Loch Ness had ordered a “loch down”.  This meant that everything was closed and that Elvis who had a sore tooth and just wanted a haircut was out of luck; there wasn’t a dentist to cut your hair or a barber to pull your teeth to be found anywhere between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Learning what the Emperor had done to the people of Scotland, The Half Pig Man who lived on Granny’s Farm went to see the Purple Haggis on the shores of Loch Ness.  “I will challenge the Emperor Zurg’s Fire Monster” said the Half Pig Man “and if I win he will be forced to return to the fifth Quadrant”.  The Haggis was sure that the Half Pig Man would be killed by the Emperor Zurg’s Fire Monster but he could see he was determined and eventually agreed to let him go. The half Pig Man from Granny’s farm rode on the back of a wild elephant all the way to Glasgow where he met Elvis.  Elvis agreed to help the Half Pig Man if in return he would help him find a haircut.  The half Pig Man knew this would be impossible; he knew that all the barbers were closed and even if the loch down ended the queues would be ridiculous but he agreed to Elvis’s deal and together they went to face the Fire Monster.

Together they went to Erin’s house and discovered the Emperor Zurg under her bed.  “I have come to fight with your Fire Monster” said the Half Pig Man “and if I win you must return to the fifth quadrant.”  Hearing this Zurg laughed his most menacing laugh.

The Fire Monster turned out to be quite a nice Fire Monster and the Emperor Zurg was forced to return to the fifth Quadrant.  The Half Pig Man and Elvis then went in search of a haircut.  Together they rode on the back of the Wild Elephant to the city of Edinburgh where they met the Princess Street Garden Monster who was angry because people kept trampling his flowers.  Whilst Elvis and The Princess Street Garden Monster talked haircuts and dentistry the Half Pig Man slipped away back to the shores of Loch Ness where learning of the Emperor Zurg’s defeat the Purple Haggis lifted the Loch down and set the people of Scotland free to live happily ever after.

Despite a few technical issues it was an undeniable privilege and pleasure to work with the group and I’d like to thank Whizz Kids Clubs in Scotland for allowing me this opportunity and all the families and participants for their time and enthusiasm.

I’d like to finish this blog by sharing a thought. Today I used the story of Pandora’s Box to frame the group inspired story. When Pandora opened the box the horrors of the world escaped forevermore but the last thing to leave was hope. When all else was gone, hope lingered. As the “loch down” eases across the country we all hope for happier days, days when we can go about freely and laugh about the summer the word zoom became a verb. As we rush to kick start the new normal we must remember the lessons of the lock down and hope for a better future for everybody.

John Kirk is a professional storyteller telling stories in schools and libraries and at events and festivals.  For more information or to make an enquiry, complete a contact form.

Today I worked and it felt great!

Since the lockdown began opportunities to work have been scarce but today I ran a workshop with some families in Glasgow and Edinburgh and it felt absolutely brilliant. We played games, we told Greek Myths and we invented monsters. Yes, it was odd not to be face to face with the participants to encourage and cajole them through the session but I was able to adapt games and my style of storytelling for a young online audience (have you ever squirted someone with a water pistol remotely? it’s very satisfying).

Theseus and the Minotaur Greek Yoghurt Pots!

A massive thank you to Whizz Kidz Clubs in Scotland for inviting me to lead the session. I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next week!

John Kirk is a professional storyteller telling stories in schools and libraries and at events and festivals.  For more information or to make an enquiry, complete a contact form.