A GANG of teenage robbers targeted the wrong Fringe performer when they stole from a broadsword-wielding Greek warrior.
The mythical hero Odysseus - also known as student Tom Clews - chased them down, brandishing his solid-steel sword and in full costume.
The 20-year-old managed to hold three of them for the police and get his money back, despite being hit on the head with a bottle.
Police said the gang was wanted in connection with other robberies from Fringe performers in the city centre and praised the student for his actions.
The drama unfolded when members of the Live Wire Theatre group were walking through the Grassmarket on their way back to their hostel in the early hours of Thursday.
As they approached the hostel, one of the cast handed Tom £20 to buy some food. The youths barged into them, snatched the money and ran off.
Tom, who practises the martial art Tai Kwando and is a skilled swordsman, shrugged off his heroics.
He said: "I didn't really think, it was just a surge of adrenaline and fear and I just took off after them.
"Something hit me on the head and it smashed like a bottle, but I don't have any cuts or anything, which is quite lucky.
"I don't really know what I was doing but I had the sword, which is really heavy, and so I tried to trip them up with it and managed to take the legs away from a few of them.
"It's hard to describe what it was like but I certainly didn't feel heroic. It would sound good to say I was in character as Odysseus and that's why I chased them, but I think I was just angry that they'd taken the money. I did think I would get in trouble with the police for having the sword but they said these guys were wanted for other robberies and thanked me."
A spokeswoman for Live Wire Theatre said she was stunned anyone had tried to rob the actor from Oxford while he was in full costume and carrying a sword.
"He doesn't exactly look like the sort of person you would rob anyway, let alone when he's in character, and these young guys really did pick on the wrong man," she said.
"As a company we have been noted for our sword fighting, and we use real, heavy steel swords on stage, so it is very physical.
"Because of the amount of practice he has done, Tom is very used to taking knocks, so he claims he hardly even felt the bottle, just heard the glass smashing, and carried on chasing the guys down.
"He has been to the Fringe with us before, last year when he played Hector in the Iliad, so he's used to playing heroes, but now he can say he really is one."
The story is in marked contrast to a promotional stunt by the theatre company last year that landed it on the wrong side of the law.
The group was cautioned by officers a day after a widespread terror alert after they were spotted wielding a crossbow outside the Palace of Holyrood House while the Queen was staying there.