Disability and arts News and blogs Orpheus - the Mythical ‘So here is our story, more ancient than hist’ry, With monsters and mortals and Gods on their thrones.’ From 23 to 31 March 2018, The Other Palace – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest theatre – opened its doors to reveal the mysterious, profound and comical Greek myth of Orpheus. Through the collaboration of Orpheus students and alumni, Arts Education graduates, celebrity guests and many others, Orpheus – the Mythical became a reality. It's rare to see such a funny, touching show as Orpheus - the Mythical - Matt Lucas, actor Absolutely touching and entertaining (as well as highly topical!) interpretation of the Greek myth - audience member Orpheus – the Mythical, with words and music by Sir Richard Stilgoe and directed by Katie Beard, is a musical comedy about a Greek tragedy. It follows Orpheus (Angus Morton), son of Apollo (Luke Tye) and the muse Calliope (Sandra Gayer), on his journey with Jason (Simon Anthony) and his Argonauts (Ben Stacey, Benjamin Mundy, Alex Wheeler, Hampus Lee Strand) to find The Golden Fleece. Upon his return, he embarks on a second journey to rescue his wife Eurydice (Charlotte Rowling) from Hades (Thomas Puttock). Through the power of singing, Orpheus has the ability to make the whole world stop and listen, the trees and mountains bend to hear him, and to make everyone agree with him and do what he says. Here at the Orpheus Centre, we believe our students can do just that – convince the world they are worth listening to. You are all amazing well done. I am so proud of you all and I am also proud to be part of the Orpheus family - Orpheus alumna Each night the show was opened by a Greek chorus, played by a celebrity guest. In the lineup were Martin Jarvis, Rob Brydon, Patricia Hodge, Jane Asher, Charles Collingwood, Judy Bennett, Samuel West, Bertie Carvel, Barry Cryer, Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton. In turn they set the stage for what was truly to be an all-star performance. The story is stunning and hilarious. Jokes are given a modern twist, and the actors from both schools are thoroughly professional and enjoyable to watch … The music is fantastic. Morton has a powerful voice worthy of the Orpheus character … Every single actor, around 30 in all, does a marvelous job to provide a witty, thought provoking story and deservedly received a standing ovation from every single audience member. - Review – The National Student With a satirical, singing three-headed dog (Rory Dyer, Tyler Russell, Nick Walewski), a drumming, chanting Sat Nav (Jo Langston), a northern, hilarious Hercules (Chris Hogg) and many other diverse and witty characters, the audience couldn't help but be entertained. One word – phenomenal. - Parent One of the true joys of the performance was seeing how clearly the ArtsEd graduates and Orpheus students/alumni had bonded through their time together. Both were able to support and learn from each other from the process and produced a truly touching performance together. Sir Richard Stilgoe said, ‘We are performing with Arts Educational because we do inclusive stuff and not disabled stuff; the whole purpose of Orpheus is to mix young disabled people up with the real world and not separate them. These are terrific and confident performers who concentrate on what they can do rather than what they can’t. Orpheus changes young disabled people’s lives. It changes the lives of the staff and the 98 volunteers who work with them. It changes the lives of everyone who attends one of their shows. It has changed my life immeasurably.’ A massive well done to our alumni and the Orpheus Centre for putting on such a successful run of the delightful Orpheus - The Mythical … It was such a wonderful opportunity to create some lovely work - thank you! - Arts Education Brilliant. And lovely to see the two sets of students and alumni working so well together. The bond that had developed between them all was very clear. - Volunteer Amazing experience for (my son) with such wonderful people … Thank you all so much for giving him the opportunity - he had the best time! - Parent All the staff and students at the Orpheus Centre would like to thank absolutely everyone who was involved in Orpheus – the Mythical. The backstage staff, student/alumni support, technicians, parents and volunteers – to name but a few – were absolutely pivotal to the success of the production. This was an incredible opportunity for our students, who, once again, proved they could make the world stop and listen. Sometimes all that’s needed is a song… Comments ‘The cast were fantastic, loved every minute … it was stunning… a brilliant night out’. (Volunteer) ‘Simply amazing, clever, funny, touching.’ (Parent) ‘We loved it - so funny and brilliantly sung and acted!’ (Audience member) ‘It was absolutely wonderful- funny, inspiring and so creative! Would love to see it again!’ (Volunteer) ‘It was one of the best performances I have seen lately – worthy of the West End’. (Audience member) ‘Huge love (to) the cast/crew of Orpheus - The Mythical... Such a great cause and so lush to see such confidence instilled in these young adults through the power of performance’. (Matthew Marrs, Actor) 'I go to see a great many West End productions and this was as enjoyable as any I have seen recently. Such a simple story bought to life by an updated script, beautifully performed by a diverse cast of extremely talented young people. Well done to all those involved'. (Orpheus staff member) 'Brilliant performance of Orpheus - the Mythical. Taking all the lead roles, the young disabled students of the Orpheus Centre performed, alongside members of Arts Educational, with great ability, confidence and presence. A magical evening & an absolute triumph for all involved.' (Audience member) 'One of the most enjoyable and yet humbling performances that I have seen. Massive credit to the staff at Orpheus, particularly Sir Richard Stilgoe, can't wait for the next show!' (Audience member) For more pictures, click here. See full cast list here.