The beautiful setting of White Pond Farm in Stonor was once again a wonderful location for Acorn Music Theatre Company’s summer production of The Odyssey as the sun was setting.
Starting outside, the Acorn ‘crew’ formed up with an opening song and a powerful speech from Poseidon (the violent and ill-tempered god of the sea) played brilliantly by Paris Ferguson before entering the barn where the stage was filled with sand and the audience filled every bit of space around the edge sitting on bales of hay.
The story, an adaptation of The Odyssey by Homer tells the story of Odysseus’ 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus battles mystical creatures and faces the wrath of the gods, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus stave off suitors vying for Penelope’s hand and Ithaca’s throne long enough for Odysseus to return. The Odyssey ends as Odysseus wins a contest to prove his identity, slaughters the suitors, and retakes the throne of Ithaca.
As with all Acorn productions, the superb script and wonderful music are all written by members and Trustees and it was great to see former members Elizabeth Crowdy, Katie Moberly and Molly Liddell back performing and writing the music for this production.
Odysseus, played by Robin Nice on Wednesday evening was excellent throughout. Even during his parts high up a ladder, his acting and voice were strong.
Acorn’s productions are always renowned for their clever scripts, inventive props and dynamic use of performers to form themselves into many different objects and this production was no exception. We particularly loved the Cyclops scene with stones used as eyes and the play-on word I/eye jokes. The show isn’t for the faint-hearted as there’s a slaughter of a child but it’s all done in great Acorn spirit!
No Acorn production would be complete without chickens especially with this one being on the farm with real chickens roaming. The audience weren’t disappointed as the chickens appeared in the interval along with a very cool cockerel and a devilish fox.
The production was in memory of Robina Dallmeyer, Co-Founder of the Acorn and as Odysseus was rescued from the sea, the RNLI was chosen as the charity for donations after each performance.
Artistic Director, Gail Rosier and her team have once again used their magic to get the best out of this talented group of youngsters who will now take the show down to Devon for two nights.