Triumphantly sailing into Edinburgh come Audacious Productions with their frankly magnificent production The Odyssey: An Epic Musical Epic. At an hour and 50 minutes, it certainly lives up to its epic name but every moment is worth it. Endearing, energetic and ever so slightly silly, it is impossible to leave this show without a smile on your face.
For such a young company to provide such entertainment is nothing short of incredible.
Geoff Page’s script actually begins slightly before Homer’s tale, helpfully explaining the background to the Trojan War and the myth of the Golden Apple to those unfamiliarly with the premise. From there, Odysseus endeavours to return home to Ithaca but faces many trials and tribulations along the way. The script is witty and enthralling, keeping the show family-friendly whilst still successfully dealing with the more adult parts of the original epic. Complementing the script is a strong libretto, with many stand-out numbers that allow individuals to shine whilst providing ample opportunity for all 31 members of the cast to enhance the show.
Yes, you did read that correctly. 31 members of the cast.
Amazingly, all of the cast are only aged between 12-16 but give performances worthy of actors three times their age. There is not a weak link among them. Ben Sharp and Holly Masters are an excellent Odysseus and Penelope, excelling both theatrically and musically. Heinrich Verwoerd, Conor Hunt and Adam Pennington are young masters of comic timing. Julian Ngong is simultaneously an adorable and impressive Zeus, leading a very talented pantheon of Charlie Weldon, Alex Booth, Kristina McMahon, Sophie Johnson and Tasha Brewis. Abbie Palmer, Frances Sayer and Rachael Chambers this versatile collection of leads, but praise must go to all members of the versatile ensemble. Indeed, there was not a weak link in the cast.
Director Pete Sayer has done a wonderful job keeping the show together. In lesser hands, the stage would have seemed crowded and far too busy, but cast members slickly leave and re-join the stage at appropriate moments without the slightest interruption to the pacing. Sophie Price’s colourful artwork projections round off an incredible production, providing a colourful backdrop well in line with the light-heartedness of the script.
For such a young company to provide such entertainment is nothing short of incredible. This show will warm even the coldest of hearts and I highly recommended you catch this talented group before they depart.