Our Young Reviewers at The Odyssey

This week I wanted to share the final piece from our 2019 Young Reviewers scheme where Harrogate Theatre works with a number of students from local secondary schools.

This final review was from one of our own Harrogate Youth Theatre aged 15+ groups productions, The Odyssey, which took place on our main stage earlier this month. We sold 300 tickets for The Odyssey, which also gave our Youth Theatre a fantastic opportunity to perform in a professional theatre to a busy auditorium.

The chosen review this time was written by Sophie Robinson, a student at St. Aidan’s C of E School in Harrogate. Here’s her review:

Harrogate Youth Theatre’s The Odyssey is a legend in itself

If the idea of ‘youth theatre’ conjures up an image of mumbling pre-teens and a cliché commentary on social media, then prepare to have your mind changed.  Harrogate Youth Theatre takes a risk with Greek theatre with Hattie Naylor’s The Odyssey, and the risk pays off.  With Hannah Draper and Lizzy Whynes at the helm as directors, and Will Heyes as set designer, this epic piece of art is captivating. It portrays a level of maturity that I’ve never seen from a youth theatre group and I feel myself forgetting that the many of the actors are not yet 18.

Of course, props must be given to the incredible cast and director, but the set design of the show is so incredibly unique that it really gives an edge to the performance. Towering platforms house the overseeing three wise women, and the mechanical boat is a smooth professional addition. Monsters that are creatively represented by bouncing spherical heads are a refreshing comedic addition, as are the toy pigs that represent the ‘pitiful humans.’

Frantic Assembly’s influence is prominent throughout the play, with the physical theatre elements of the group creating a beautiful human representation of the natural elements.  A moment that struck a chord with me, for example, was the chorus’ synchronicity when moving as one, creating a stormy ocean. The piece is obviously very well-rehearsed and polished, with clear deliverance from all.

Bravo Harrogate Youth Theatre! A bold move indeed.

A review of Harrogate Youth Theatre’s The Odyssey, performed on Thursday 4th April 2019 at Harrogate Theatre.

Harrogate Theatre’s superb age-specific classes for young people cater for ages 3 right up to 18. There are currently spaces available across a range of age groups and the cost per term is just £70 for a weekly session. The classes offer opportunities for young people to be creatively inspired, make new friends, learn new skills, and above all have great fun in a professional theatre with access to expertise from theatre staff and creatives. For more see www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/learning/for-young-people