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Watermill Youth Theatre - The Odyssey

4th to 7th May 2005.

This is from the Newbury Weekly News.

Simply spot-on

Watermill Youth Theatre: The Odyssey, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, May 4 to Saturday, May 7

The Watermill Youth Theatre had a triumph on their hands with Will Wollen's splendid adaptation of The Odyssey.

Skilfully directed, this was a production full of energy and fun from a committed young cast who relished telling the stories.

There was bags of audience participation, including a spoof announcement that the play may be delayed waiting for the arrival of HRH, and a special seat had been reserved for him in the stalls with a gilt ribbon. Shame he didn't make it, because this was a really terrific performance.

The simple set of a variety of boxes provided all the scenes of this marathon story. Our hero Odysseus, played with confidence and panache by Alistair McCallum, related his story as he made his way home from the Trojan war.

There was an excellent girls' chorus, dressed in pyjamas, white wigs and glasses, a wonderful spoof of Hollywood TV, and they were simply spot-on.

All the stories were there. The Cyclops' tale was inventive and used the audience to make the sheep noises with much hilarity.

There was a tongue-in-cheek version of a chat show by Circe, the god of wind (Rachel Cook) that had the audience blowing to keep the boat on track and references to the Oscar awards. All great fun.

There was clever use of puppets. We had the Trojan horse, the sirens with chainsaws which was really frightening.

Above all this was a highly-enjoyable evening's entertainment from a confident, talented young cast who worked together as an ensemble and captured their audience with their enthusiasm. Well done indeed.