Splendid Productions’ visit to The Sixth Form College Performing Arts Department

By Fiona Bush, Performing Arts Dept., 7 December 2015

The aptly named “Splendid” team performed their newly adapted version of Homer’s “The Odyssey” in the college drama studio this Wednesday afternoon. They brought to life the Old Man of the Sea, the epic storms, the hopeful Penelope, the Cyclops, some sheep, some suitors, some ponchos, a washing line; all exploring the many roles of Odysseus in Greek Mythology. AS and A2 Drama and Performance Studies students became fully interactive with the performance; becoming part of the storm, playing the instruments that represented the storm, reading the map for Odysseus’ men, creating the personae of panic by running around the stage area (dressed in a poncho) and braving the obstacle courses that Odysseus has to battle in the sea (whilst dressed in a blue poncho and carrying some wooden men in a small boat!). Much fun was had by all students, staff and the three strong cast, whilst moments of thought provoking naturalism contrasted with the Brechtian Epic style.

A practical, physical workshop followed, where the lovely Kerry, Gen and Cordelia from Splendid led our students in a challenging set of explorative exercises. The students pushed boundaries they didn’t all realise they had, they came together as one big chorus and battled it out with Gestus led characters, ‘lunge offs’ and larger than life ensemble responses to their physical creations.

As all these students embark on their final exam performance projects, both devised and repertory, they will take much inspiration from today’s performance and workshop experiences. So much advice and guidance was given by Team Splendid that students will keep with them for a long while. The overall experience was coined by students as “really inspiring”, “amazing”, with one student tweeting the company to state how she had “learnt so much about both Theatre and myself” – and all in one afternoon! Good work Splendid Productions! We hope to see you again next year.