The Odyssey (2015/2016)

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"I’ve rarely seen a better example of how to involve an audience in a production and I generally don’t laugh this loud when called upon to watch a Greek myth... ingenious... accomplished... it all works brilliantly"

Bouquets & Brickbats

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"Brilliantly imaginative... uproariously funny. multi-talented, multi-voiced, multi-bodied... needle sharp."

The Reviews Hub

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"WOW!!! What a performance! Our students absolutely LOVED the show! Brilliant!"

Sarah Standage, Subject Leader for Drama,
Sir Frederic Osborn School

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"It was epic! A very clever, inspiring and enjoyable show... Very dynamic and engaging. Our students were buzzing afterwards."

David Aldred, Head of Drama,
The King's School

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"The all-female cast showcased the possibilities of performing every role and pushing boundaries."

Davina Robinson, Director of Drama,
Farnborough Hill School

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"The students have been raving about it... they have been doing highly energised, funny and brave work."

Kym Martin, Head of Drama,
Cobham Hall

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"It was a real pleasure, to watch and learn from such innovative theatre."

Juliet Fisher, Head of Expressive Arts,
Malvern St James

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"Your use of humour, versatile acting technique, transformation of characters through voice and body, simple staging and tickle-slap approach makes your work so accessible."

Jean Simmons, Head of Drama,
Shanghai American School

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"Splendid provided a complete package."

Mark Oakshott, Head of Drama,
All Hallows Catholic School

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"Invigorating, witty and thought-provoking... You have never let us down. Every year this is the best CPD for the teachers and a great experience for the students."

Lara Ramrattan, Head of Drama,
Ilkley Grammar School

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  Kerry Frampton, Genevieve Say and Cordelia Stevenson in Splendid’s 2015 production of The Odyssey (photos: Lewis Wileman)

In a brand new creative theatrical adaptation, we retell the story of Odysseus and his famously inconvenient journey home from the Trojan War.

Packing a decade of adventures into a breathless hour, Splendid’s heroic cast of three create a mythical world of hungry monsters, devious sorceresses and frequent shipwrecks as the resourceful Odysseus battles to return to his family.

Splendid present a newly devised Odyssey which uses a Brechtian-style episodic structure and incorporates Greek theatre conventions. It’s a great example of a creative adaptation: tightly structured storytelling with a minimum of props, lights and scenery and maximum use of performance skills including physical theatre, clowning, audience interaction, puppetry and song.

A classic story meets high-energy storytelling… you’d have to tie yourself to a mast to miss it!

Theatre tour poster design: Ben Hales

Splendid Productions’ ‘The Odyssey’
Toured Sept 2015 – March 2016
Written by: Homer
Adapted by: Kerry Frampton & Ben Hales
Directed by: Matt Wilde, Lucy Cuthbertson & Lucy Hopkins
Additional eyes: Molly Bertrand 
Songs by:  Kerry Frampton, Ben Hales
Design by: Kerry Frampton
Beards by: Christine Frampton

Cast & Characters

Kerry Frampton: Old Man Of The Sea, Warrior, Penelope, Sheep, Giant’s Wife, Suitor
Genevieve Say: Old Man Of The Sea, Warrior, Sheep, Antiphates The Giant, Circe, Suitor
Cordelia Stevenson: Old Man Of The Sea, Warrior, Cyclops,Giant’s Daughter, Calypso, Suitor

with thanks to:
Corelli College, Scott Gilmour

More about The Odyssey

The Odyssey DVD
£35
The Odyssey script
£15
The Odyssey Education Pack
£12
The Odyssey Super Pack
£55
“WOW!!! What a performance! Our students absolutely LOVED the show! Brilliant!”
Sarah Standage, Subject Leader for Drama, Sir Frederic Osborn School, Welwyn Garden City

“It was epic! A very clever, inspiring and enjoyable show… it ticked all the necessary boxes and a few more! Very dynamic and engaging. Our students were buzzing afterwards.”
David Aldred, Head of Drama, The King’s School, Peterborough

read more…

“It was epic! A very clever, inspiring and enjoyable show… it ticked all the necessary boxes and a few more! Very dynamic and engaging. Our students were buzzing afterwards.”
David Aldred, Head of Drama, The King’s School, Peterborough

“WOW!!! What a performance! Our students absolutely LOVED the show! Brilliant!”
Sarah Standage, Subject Leader for Drama, Sir Frederic Osborn School, Welwyn Garden City

“The performance has provided great ideas and inspiration… our favourite of all the Splendid we have seen before.”
Sally Foley, Head of Drama, Chelmsford County High School For Girls

“The all-female cast showcased the possibilities of performing every role and pushing boundaries.”
Davina Robinson, Director of Drama, Farnborough Hill

“The production’s use of set, props, costumes, multi-role performances and quality of acting has meant that we can use the production to support students with their ‘Live Performance Seen’ unit of the AS examination. For A2, students have been able to see how a physical approach to a text can be effective and also more information about the devising process, which supports the students with their Unit 4 devised work.”
Cheri Whitehouse, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies, Hereford Sixth Form College

“Thank you to you, Gen and Cordelia for the fabulousness of your show and performances Monday night!!!! All of the students and the three of us teachers loved it! The students have been raving about it… The girl power displayed by you three fiery wenches had inspired them and they have been doing highly energised, funny and brave work.”
Kym Martin, Head of Drama, Cobham Hall, Kent

“Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed your show at the Lowry yesterday. My wife and I were the ‘bemused looking couple’ near the front left – despite looking like swatted flies we enjoyed every minute of it. Great fun, very well portrayed and wonderful interaction with your audience. We didn’t know what to expect… and at first a bit of “what in the hell is this?” Thinking kept overwhelming us – but that soon went! Wonderful – THANK YOU.”
Neil & Clare Baxter, Audience Members, The Lowry, Salford

“St George’s sent a small group of Classics pupils to see Splendid’s production of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. As a Classics department, it was wonderful to bring our pupils to a drama which was so interactive and stayed so close to the original text.”
Charlotte Phipps, Teacher of Classics, St George’s School

“Thank you so much for a wonderful production today! He students were very impressed as were we teachers! Lots to analyse and evaluate for their live productions responses and the workshops were very helpful for that and helping them become more committed and creative with their devising/ impending exam pieces. I particularly enjoyed the songs for this production. Maybe a soundtrack could be a future option?! All workshops were very thorough and met the needs of the students. [I was] impressed with how they catered for our requests and age groups.
Rob Smith, Head of Drama, Colston’s, Bristol

“I took my 6th form group yesterday to see the production of ‘The Odyssey’. We were all bowled away by the stunning performance, alongside the amazing professionalism in handling the audience. This was highly valuable to both the groups I brought, helping with devising skills for one group and getting an understanding of ‘real’ live theatre for the other… For us teachers, it was a real pleasure, to watch and learn from such innovative theatre. (The classics teachers will be very jealous at missing out!)”
Juliet Fisher, Head of Expressive Arts, Malvern St James, Great Malvern

I brought a group of 6th form students to see The Odyssey in Birmingham on Monday and can I start by saying that we bloody loved it!! It was our first experience of Splendid live in the actual flesh (we have some of your packs, DVD’s and mind maps) and wow wee we weren’t disappointed! The students left the theatre absolutely buzzing with excitement and ideas and are keen to use the Splendid style in their own devising next year.”
Sally Owen, Heart of England School, Coventry

“Thankyou for bringing your production of The Odyssey to SAS Puxi and for the amazing workshop you presented for our grade 11 theatre students. The Brecht / Splendid workshop really resonated with this age group and the coursework that these IB theatre kids are currently undertaking. It was theoretical, practical and allowed them to have a deeper grasp of their Brecht explorations playing into contemporary political ideas, gestus and connecting to themes and devising practices which they were able to see in your production. They were consequently able to understand these concepts on a deeper level in practice.
We were fortunate enough to have you visit us last year and the students and community are still totally in love with your production style, playful approach and ability to quickly and clearly engage them on an intellectual and creative level. Our theatre students, in particular, are still buzzing a year later from Woyzech and thoroughly enjoyed and were inspired by The Odyssey. Your use of humour, versatile acting technique, transformation of characters through voice and body, simple staging and tickle-slap approach makes your work so accessible.
The Odyssey is a wonderful show, full of joyful and tragic moments. With out the great work you do, a big creative chunk would be missing from our international school theatre student’s lives. We study the techniques and ideas of the practitioner’s aspects you draw from in class, but in Shanghai the opportunity to see them actually in practice, is rare. We all feel lucky to have seen your work.”

Jean Simmons, Head of Drama, Shanghai American School

“A fantastic learning experience and just some really lovely theatre!… KS5 were able to discuss in length the range of performance skills, structure, practitioner influences and evaluate the things they took away from the performance to create targets for themselves these included “I need to let go of whatever it is that’s holding me back from feeling free to explore.” “I can see how important physicality is for communicating character” “I don’t need all the ‘fluff'” “I have identified how to multi-role effectively.” We just had a fantastic conversation about theatre! … Additional support materials are a brilliant resource. Thanks!”
Hollie Graham, Drama Teacher, Great Sankey High School, Warrington

“Exceeded expectations thoroughly! Very creative, engaging and easily accessible by students. Splendid provided a complete package. It helped to prepare students for Controlled Assessments, use of a range of practitioners. The work pack and notes are fantastic.”
Mark Oakshott, Head of Drama, All Hallows Catholic School

“Invigorating, witty and thought-provoking. The students loved it and were in awe of the sophisticated minimalism and engaging acting. You have never let us down. Every year this is the best CPD for the teachers and a great experience for the students.”
Lara Ramrattan, Head of Drama, Ilkley Grammar School

“Highly original and full of energy. My pupils loved the audience participation because “it made you concentrate more, it made us laugh, but it made us think”! Spoon Odysseus was genius! Your innovative performance style is constantly refined and amended. You strive to give us new experiences each year whilst grounding all you do in truth and integrity.”
Jannette Bloor, Director of Performing Arts, The Grange School, Cheshire

Press on The Odyssey

… I’ve rarely seen a better example of how to involve an audience in a production and I generally don’t laugh this loud when called upon to watch a Greek myth… ingenious… accomplished… it all works brilliantly”
Bouquets & Brickbats
Read the whole review…
The Odyssey, The Lowry Quays Theatre, Salford, 17 November 2015
Reviewed by Bouquets & Brickbats


As theatrical events go, this is unusual. I’m wearing a set of goggles, a plastic poncho and a sparkly shower cap. I’m stumbling across a stage while the cast spray me with water pistols and throw ping pong balls at my head and I’m trying to get Odysseus (who is depicted by a wooden spoon with a smily face drawn on it) to the safety of a rubber ring. And I can’t complain, because I volunteered for this.

Welcome to The Odyssey as presented by Splendid Productions. When it comes to making a hoary old legend accessible for a wider audience, this team are hard to beat. The three-strong cast (Kerry Frampton, Genevieve Day and Cordelia Stevenson) depict a multitude of characters between them, switching effortlessly from role to role with aplomb and utilising a selection of simple but ingenious costumes. Watching Kerry Frampton switch from a swaggering warrior to Penelope simply by the application of a white headscarf is an extraordinary thing, so accomplished it elicits gasps of astonishment. Meanwhile members of the predominantly young audience are enlisted to help out – a ‘storm orchestra’ periodically kicks up a rumpus, a young man in a poncho runs up and down telling the audience they’re all going to die and somebody else is called upon to keep a running tally of the carnage. Odysseus’s epic voyage is depicted by a series of titles pegged out on a washing line. And it all works brilliantly.

I’ve rarely seen a better example of how to involve an audience in a production and I generally don’t laugh this loud when called upon to watch a Greek myth. Splendid are an appropriately named company. Catch this show at The Lowry, Salford Quays, before it sets sail for new horizons. It’s legendary. [Philip Caveney]

… brilliantly imaginative… uproariously funny. multi-talented, multi-voiced, multi-bodied… needle sharp.”
The Reviews Hub – Read the whole review…
The Odyssey, The Lowry Quays Theatre, Salford, 17 November 2015
Reviewed by The Reviews Hub


It’s one of the oldest stories we know: an epic tale of one man’s struggle to return home. But have you ever seen a version of The Odyssey where the hero was played by a wooden spoon?

Yes, that’s right: Splendid Productions gives us a stripped-back, 75-minute, three-woman Odyssey, with Spoon Odysseus moved along a washing-line upstage to represent his progress towards home. It’s touring theatres and schools until March 2016.

The three actors are all multi-talented, multi-voiced, multi-bodied; they go from rôle to rôle seamlessly, sing, dance, and recite in unison. It’s astonishing to watch one turn instantly from a guffawing suitor into a delicate, dignified Penelope. The few props show the same level of versatility, and the show is somewhat stolen by three magnificent woollen beards, used in various inventive ways.

A series of brilliantly imaginative gimmicks is used to involve the audience. At the start, we are all instructed in how to create a storm, and one teenager is asked to keep track of the death toll. Later, a plucky volunteer is dressed up in a poncho and sparkly swimming cap and led through an obstacle course. It’s all uproariously funny, helped by the cast’s needle-sharp ad-libbing at the expense of anybody who is noisy or late. The only hiccup is when one actor dwells on the sexual symbolism in the story. At a show partly aimed at young people, this (although funny) may go a bit too far.

Don’t choose Splendid’s Odyssey if you dislike interactivity or fear being “picked on”, but if you’re willing to surrender yourself to a fast-paced, silly, inventive show, it’s a lot of fun. [Lizz Clark]

“When Homer recounted the misadventures of Odysseus in his epic The Odyssey he didn’t include any jokes. Based upon the rousing reception accorded to Splendid Productions’ version of the legend at The Lowry this may have been a mistake.”
Manchester Theatre AwardsRead the whole review…

The Odyssey, The Lowry Quays Theatre, Salford, 17 November 2015
Reviewed by Manchester Theatre Awards

When Homer recounted the misadventures of Odysseus in his epic The Odyssey he didn’t include any jokes. Based upon the rousing reception accorded to Splendid Productions’ version of the legend at The Lowry this may have been a mistake.

A cast of three wearing home-knitted beards and employing comedic Yorkshire accents re-tell the legend using very basic props and relying on the magic of Theatre. Sorry: t’Theatre.

Splendid Productions are an educational and theatrical company. Tonight, however, their emphasis is on the latter rather than the former. The highly irreverent outlook of the company is not directed at the source material but rather its component parts: the stupidity of war and male attempts at domination.

The show is intended for schools and manages to communicate the plot of the epic in a clear, concise and, more importantly, engaging manner. There is great success in achieving a high level of audience involvement with one particularly enthusiastic patron running up and down the aisles screaming ‘We’re doomed’ at appropriate moments. As the house lights are left up throughout the audience is visible to the cast as one inattentive and well-scolded patron discovers.

Although Penelope’s suitors are played for laughs, as obnoxious Bullingdon oafs, this well-textured production is not limited to comedy. On the more dramatic side Kerry Frampton (who co-adapted the epic with Ben Hales) interprets Penelope in a haunted, resigned manner and Cordelia Stevenson’s version of Calypso is gently moving.

The adaptation does not rely solely on verbal storytelling. Genevieve Say’s retelling of the Circe legend is as much interpretive dance as it is a monologue.

This sparkling and engaging production demonstrates that educational shows need not be dull but can fulfil an instructive role while being entertaining.
[David Cunningham]

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