On the face of it, life seems happy on the beautiful island of Crete. But King Minos has a problem. Deep down inside a dark labyrinth, just outside his palace, lives the Minotaur, a ferocious monster who lays great demands on Minos, and now, on top of everything else, desires human beings … to eat. Minos, at the end of his tether, takes his navy to conquer King Aegeus of Athens once and for all. Aegeus manages to avoid the war, but only by promising 14 Athenian children as sacrifices to the Minotaur. Will Aegeus’s son, Theseus, with the help of Ariadne, the frustrated daughter of King Minos, save the children and remove the threat of the Minotaur once and for all?
The Minoans are an advanced and clever society. They have everything they need and appear to live full and happy lives as portrayed in the opening song (THE GREAT MINOANS). Then the bull leaping final begins and King Minos enters to present the prize to the winner. The guards are pleased to have their minds taken off the one thing that blights all their lives, the inhabitant of a vast labyrinth that lies nearby (MINOTAUR).
Now back at his palace, King Minos is discussing his concerns about the safety and security of the labyrinth with his architect, Daedalus, when his attendants rush in with bad news: the Minotaur is fed up with his diet of rabbits and is now demanding bigger and better food, namely humans. This is more than Minos can handle, and ignoring his daughter Ariadne’s pleas to stay and spend time with her, hot-headedly leaves with his naval fleet to go to war with Athens, leaving the Minotaur problem with his attendants. The attendants are worried and nervous that they could end up on the Minotaur’s menu (WE’RE ON THE MENU).
In Athens, King Aegeus’s guards see a fleet of Cretan ships making its way towards the mainland. King Aegeus decides that the best way forward is to allow King Minos to land and to try and reason with him. However, it is pointed out that Minos is not in a reasonable mood, and so Aegeus comes up with a different plan to avoid war: he offers Minos a way out of his Minotaur problem by gifting him seven boys and seven girls as food for the Minotaur, to which Minos agrees and sails back to Crete (HEY KING MINOS).
When the people of Athens hear of this decision they are beside themselves with grief. Aegeus’s son, Prince Theseus, believes he has the answer. He vows to kill the Minotaur and save the children. Aegeus does not believe this is possible, but with a heavy heart he allows Theseus to replace one of the other children and go to Crete (CHILDREN OF ATHENS).
When Theseus and the children arrive in Crete, Theseus announces to Minos that he is going to kill the Minotaur which causes hilarity between Minos and his court. Ariadne, however, is confident that she can help Theseus and steals herself away, closely followed by some of the guards, to go and extract the labyrinth plans from Daedalus. With the plans, a sword and a ball of string, she meets Theseus. She explains to him her boredom with the island and her wish to leave, and offers her help in return for an escape from Crete (BORED).
When morning arrives, Theseus and the children are taken to the labyrinth. The children wait inside the entrance whilst Theseus creeps through the labyrinth unwinding a ball of string as he goes so that he can follow it back on his return. He finally confronts the Minotaur and kills him (THESEUS OUR HERO).
Everyone is surprised and overjoyed when Theseus reappears from the maze with the children and with the news that the Minotaur is no more. Minos is sad when he sees that Ariadne is leaving with Theseus and realises that he should have spent more time with her and they mend their differences as the celebrations begin (THE GREAT MINOANS – REPRISE).