Arts Review: The Epic – The Blue Room Theatre (Performances Through June 13th)

The Epic is the brainchild of performance poets and storytellers Finn O’Branagáin and Scott Sandwich. It is a gathering of myths, stories and legends from across the globe brought together and woven into an evening of exaggeration, hyperbole and humour. It’s not a play; both Finn and “Scott” are quick to point out from the outset that neither of them are actors. It is at times however wonderfully theatrical – with many a flailing limb, dramatic pause, or witty interjection from the wings.

I really have to thank Finn and Scott, because they’ve made writing this review incredibly easy. The Epic is easily one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen this year; it’s charming, it’s education and it’s joyously irreverent. The passion, which these two performers have, for story-telling and the telling of those stories in particular is palpable and their enjoyment in the retelling is infectious. I have never seen the Fast and Furious franchise described so passionately (or indeed so eloquently) before, and I doubt I will ever again.

Of the stories delved into over the course of the evening I was already somewhat familiar with a few, chiefly the story of Odysseus and the Epic of Gilgamesh. But Finn and Scott successfully breathed new life into those stories for me, throwing up aspects of the stories I’d missed, thought of differently, or not heard before – like for example just how much of a total dick Odysseus really is/was (and indeed how much of a role model he is for all our favourite heroes and anti-heroes).

I, along with the rest of the audience were also introduced to a whole host of other stories that I’d never heard of, and probably never would have heard of, if it wasn’t for this show. Some of them (the Kalewala I’m looking at you here) are completely and utterly nuts, but undoubtedly entertaining and hilarious (especially when recounted at breakneck speed). Though my personal favourite probably has to be the Madagascan story, purely thanks to “Young Woman with chaos child” or something to that effect.

I was also impressed at the underlying argument presented by the piece, that of cultural context and indeed cultural appropriation. I also liked the way they handled the idea of the Australian creation myth, subtly and with humour tearing apart the conservative Terra Nullis myth. It was a timely comment, and one which whilst not providing a definitive answer on an Australian creation myth, navigated a touchy political subject with a great deal of nuance; ultimately leaving the audience to think more on that subject.

The Epic is only running for the criminally short time of a week. Though I would imagine that it’ll reappear at a Fringe Festival or too over time – to be honest it’s too good a show not to. But until then hurry and get your tickets. I’m even tempted to try and see it a second time. There is also an AUSLAN interpreted performance on Thurs 11th June; I want to head to that just to see the poor interpreter try to keep up with Scott and his recital of the Kalewala story.

The Epic has a limited run at Perth’s Blue Room Theatre until June 13th. To find out more and to purchase tickets visit:

The reviewer attended the Opening Night performance on June 9th.


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.