THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR
12 Narrators – N1 to N12. Together they are the Chorus
Aegeus, King of
Minos, King of
Ariadne, daughter of Minos
Youths & maidens (2 boys & 2 girls)
Stagehand (for carrying the ship)
We mums and dads of
Invite you to our play
Of Theseus the hero and
The monster he did slay
King Aegeus was the ruler of
Aegeus steps forward, bows. Theseus does same
Theseus’s true father was the god Poseidon. He was brave, clever, and an excellent warrior.
Theseus poses, swishes sword a bit, looks heroic
He spent his youth away from home, defeating many monsters and bandits. But
King Minos was the ruler of
Minos enters and bows
He lived in a magnificent palace in
The Minotaur enters roaring and brandishing horns,
N4: He was a terrifying beast, with a man’s body and the head of a bull. He could stab a man with his sharp horns, or tear him apart with his powerful hands.
Years ago Minos’s son was murdered while in Athens. As a punishment Minos forced
Youths and maidens enter stage, one by one, and the Minotaur attacks and kills them. Minotaur eats them, leaving bones. Minos watches, pleased. All leave stage
Twice now the youths of
It was at this time that Theseus returned to
Theseus spoke to his father, King Aegeus.
Theseus and Aegeus enter
N7: 'This terrible tribute must stop, father,’ said Theseus. ‘Let me take the place of one of these doomed children, and I promise I shall destroy the Minotaur and end the sacrifices forever.’
N8: Aegeus tried to change his son’s mind, but Theseus was determined to go.
Aegeus gives Theseus a white sheet
‘My son,’ said Aegeus, ‘if you must go, take this white sail with you. Each time
the youths have gone to
N9: Theseus took the sail and promised to do as his father asked. Before leaving Theseus prayed to the goddess Aphrodite. ‘Aphrodite, most beautiful of the immortals,’ he prayed, ‘help us on this quest.’
Aphrodite enters and hears Theseus’s prayer
N10: Aphrodite heard his prayer.
And so Theseus and the youths of
Exit all; Stagehand carries ship across stage
Minos and Ariadne enter left, Theseus and companions left; Aphrodite casts a spell over Ariadne and Ariadne swoons for Theseus. All leave stage; Ariadne and Theseus come back on
N12: The youths and maidens were sent to a dungeon to be sacrificed the next day. In the middle of the night Ariadne freed Theseus and spoke to him in secret. ‘Theseus my love, if I help you to defeat the Minotaur, will you take me back to Athens as your wife?’
N1: ‘I will,’ said Theseus, even though he was not in love with her. ‘Then take this magic ball of wool,’ said Ariadne. ‘Tie one end to the doorway of the labyrinth, and let it fall behind you as you go through the passages. When you kill the Minotaur you can find your way back by winding the wool back onto the ball.’
Ariadne gives Theseus the ball of wool
N2: Theseus took the wool and did as Ariadne had told him. He tied one end to the door, and let the ball unwind as he made his way through the labyrinth.
Theseus ties the wool onto a chair, winds around chairs.
The hero crept down dark passages, into dead
ends, and round twists and turns. Always he listened for the monster, hoping to
surprise him, hoping he would not be surprised himself.
Theseus reaches centre of the stage; Minotaur is there asleep
N4: At last Theseus turned a corner and reached the centre of the labyrinth. There was the Minotaur, asleep. Before Theseus could attack, the beast awoke.
N5: Hero and monster faced each other. Theseus slashed with his sword but missed; the Minotaur swung his horns but he missed too. And so they fought.
They fight; Theseus gives death blow
N6: At last the great warrior sank his sword into the belly of the beast. With a cry of agony the Minotaur fell to the ground, blood gushing from his stomach.
Theseus wipes sword and rolls back the ball of wool as he makes his way out.
N7: Theseus wiped the blood off his sword and made his way out of the labyrinth by winding back the wool.
When he got out Ariadne was overjoyed to see him alive. She led Theseus and the
All leave stage; ship carried across stage
On the way back to
Everyone comes back on stage and lies on the floor, sleeping
N9: Now, although Ariadne was crazy about Theseus, he did not feel the same way about her. In the middle of the night he awoke the youths and maidens and they got back on the ship, leaving Ariadne asleep on the sand.
Theseus wakes everyone up and they leave without Ariadne
N10: When Ariadne awoke and saw the ship was gone, she was heartbroken. Soon she became furious, and prayed to Zeus for revenge.
Ariadne wakes up and is sad, then angry
‘Oh Zeus, mightiest of all gods,’ said Ariadne, ‘I beg you to punish Theseus, who broke his promise to me, and who slew your son, the Minotaur.’
Zeus heard her prayer, and gave Ariadne her revenge.
Zeus enters, hears and nods. Exit Ariadne. Theseus enters and Zeus casts a spell of forgetting on him. Theseus and Zeus leaveN11: As the ship drew near to Athens, Zeus made Theseus forget his promise to raise the white sail. King Aegeus, watching from the Acropolis, saw the black sail and believed his son had been killed by the Minotaur. He was so stricken with grief he threw himself to his death onto the rocks below.
Aegeus, standing on a table, sees the ship approach, and throws himself to the floor
N12: So Theseus arrived home
and found his father dead. He had saved
Theseus kneels sadly over his father’s body.
Our play is done, and so we hope
You liked our tale of old
About the dreadful Minotaur
And Theseus the bold.
Everyone comes on and bows
Aegeus – EE- jee-us
Theseus – THEE-see-us
Ariadne – Ah-ree-AD-nee
Minos – MY-noss
Minotaur – MY-nuh-taur
Labyrinth – LAB-ee-rinth
Acropolis – A-CROP-uh-liss