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3: Theseus and the Minotaur

3: Theseus and the Minotaur

Hermes is flying across the Aegean Sea when he spots a ship below making its way to Crete.

It reminds him of another ship making the same journey long ago...

Hermes tells how Crete was once all-powerful and all because of the instruments of war created for King Minos by his inventor, Deadalus.

But King Minos and his people had a problem - the Minotaur - a creature part-man, part-bull, which rampaged throughout the palace killing those it caught.

Deadalus creates a labyrinth - a maze - under the palace and the Minotaur is lured inside, where it can never find its way out again. The only problem is how to feed the creature. Minos determines to demand tribute from the peoples he has conquered in the form of humans - young men and women to be fed to the Minotaur.

The scene switches to Athens. Fourteen young Athenians are being selected for the journey to Crete. But Theseus - son of King Aegeus - is determined to be one of them.

Theseus persuades his father to allow him to go to Crete, with the aim of killing the Minotaur. And if he kills the creature he will signal his success by flying a white sail.

Theseus and the others arrive in Crete. That evening King Minos's daughter - Ariadne - comes to their cell to offer assistance. She gives Theseus a sword and a ball of thread. The thread will enable Theseus to find his way back through the labyrinth to the entrance once again. Now all he must do is find the Minotaur and kill it...

Theseus and the Minotaur - supporting resources:

  1. Text of episode 3 to print (pdf)

Click for credits

Tales from Ancient Greece adapted and dramatised by Nigel Bryant.

Taking part:

Hermes: Christopher Webster

Theseus: Will Bryant

Ariadne: Emerald O'Hanrahan

Minos / The Minotaur: Rick Warden

Deadalus / Aegeus: Paul Stonehouse

With other parts played by members of the cast.

BBC production contacts: Laura Hyde / Andrew Barnes

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