Girl powered Odyssey at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans

Emily Horton-Harpin as Zeus, Emily Horton-Harpin as Zeus,

Thursday, July 17, 2014
10:10 AM

Girl power, Greek-style, can be found at the Abbey Theatre Studio in St Albans when the Company of Teens put on the classic tale The Odyssey tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow.

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For the production by the youth offshoot of The Company of Ten, will see all the gods in the ancient Greek epic played by girls.

Group leader Ian Jordan, who adapted Homer’s poem for the stage, admits the decision to turn the gods into goddesses was partly pragmatic.

He explained: “What do you do when the girls in the group vastly outnumber the boys? Finding plays that have enough meaty roles for the talented girls in the group is always a challenge. With The Odyssey, we knew that we had a truly epic story, but it’s a very male-heavy piece so we had to use some inventive casting.”

The Company of Teens version of the tale sees a female Zeus, played by Emily Horton-Harpin, heading up Olympus Incorporated, where business suit-clad women literally run the world.

As Odysseus struggles to return home to his wife and son after the Trojan War, Zeus and her fellow goddesses tussle for control of the mortals. Emily said: “It’s an interesting concept that gives a new twist to a traditional idea. It also fits with the modern-day changes in society giving women more rights.”

But while the girls in this production are definitely in charge, the boys also get their chance to shine, both as heroic and comic characters.

Ian added: “With the amount of talent on display in this production, we’re confident that this will be an eventful Odyssey for both the cast and the audience.”

To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

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