Ancient murder weapons and the secret to immortality: Mysterion wows at the Hellenic Museum

Gods, goddess, spirits, and intrigue. For two nights only, Mysterion transforms the Hellenic Museum into a playground for adults.

The audience is given the role of initiates of a secret society, attempting to unlock the keys to immortality. We’re encouraged to dress the part, with a black-tie dress code and masks given to us upon arrival.

Described as a choose-your-own-adventure, the night is structured around a theatrical conflict between Hades and Olympus. The action takes place in and around the stunning Hellenic Museum, with actors playing roving Greek gods and their attendants.

The immersive night of theatrics starts with an ‘initiation’ ceremony, in the shadow of the historic Hellenic Museum. The icy temperatures and colonial architecture added to the air of mystery. After the opening ceremony, we were set free to explore the Hellenic Museum – meeting the characters of the underworld and solving puzzles in an attempt to unlock the secret to immortality. A larger than life Hades set us on a quest to help win the favour of his lover, Persephone. High priests asked riddles and an energetic Hermes chased us around in the courtyard.

You can participate a little or as much as you like. But I promise you’ll want to interact. Exploring Hades, solving puzzles, embarking on quests, and meeting the gods and mortals transforms a generic trip to a museum into an unforgettable evening. The game developers behind Mysterion come from a LARP (Live Action Role Play) background and their joyful commitment to character is infectious.

Out of character, museum experts discussed ancient Greek artifacts. With phallic helmets, wine vases, and vestiges of war on open display. Spending my Friday night casually holding an ancient murder weapon was certainly one for the books.

The Hellenic Museum took a leap of faith with the theatrical production company Medusa RPG, allowing a hoard of masked game-players free rein of their museum. The risk paid off in spades. Despite living in Melbourne for over a decade, I’d never set foot in the museum. I left wondering why I never visited before. The building provided a beautiful backdrop for Medusa’s performers. And I learnt about the museum’s collection items without even realising it. The teams skillfully created a memorable night filled with history, play and art.

Mysterion is for history buffs, escape room devotees, worshipers of Dionysus (there’s a bar onsite), and lovers of Aphrodite (it’s a special night to remember). If you’re someone who knows the best memories are made at the edge of your comfort zone, Mysterion is for you.

However, one word of caution to future initiates. The black tie dress-code set the scene. (We love an excuse for dress-ups!) But, a lot of activity took place outdoors and the museum was as cold as death. In addition to donning a black tie, I also recommend black coats, black gloves, and shoes worthy of an adventure.

Book now before Mysterion vanishes into the night, like a mythical visit from spirits and gods.

– Jenny
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sipping a creative cocktail and dreaming of warmer days.
Mysterion is a responsive theatre experience by Medusa RPG and the Hellenic Museum running 5 and 13 July, 6-10pm at the Hellenic Museum. Book tickets now.

Images: Supplied
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Medusa RPG and the Hellenic Museum