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The world premiere of STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY proves you'll never go broke stealing from the classics. By combing Homer's epic and a cast of dozens (through the miracle of impressions), Nallon successfully marries high and popular culture. The audience is afforded the double pleasure of the impression, and seeing which star gets the spot. Nallon unleashes a horrifyingly accurate Thatcher as seductress Calypso but saves the big guns for Ann Widdecombe as sorceress Circe. Nallon clearly enjoys puns on the star's names, as Penelope Keith is cast as Penelope, and Homer (Simpson) as Polyphemus (the Cyclops). Nallon's charm effortlessly guides the show along, and said impressions are marvellously accurate. You don't have to have read the poem to understand what's going on, as Nallon provides an excellent running commentary, where his love of the epic comes shining through. Intelligent, witty, this is high class top shelf stuff.
Three Weeks, Thursday 15th August 2002

It can't be an easy feat staging a one-man show of the ODYSSEY yet Steve Nallon manages just that, keeping his audience enthralled throughout with his re-telling of Homer's classic tale of love and adventure. Nallon, a founder member of the SPITTING IMAGE team, is a hugely talented man. Nallon has an enormous wealth of uncanny impersonations up his sleeve of everyone from Tony Blair and Ann Widdecombe to Robin Williams, Dame Edna and Yoda. And there are plenty of hearty chuckles to hold the attention. If you like it, he says, then tell your friends. If you don't, then "tell them I'm Rory Bremner". Bremner should watch out!
Fest, 14th August 2002

If Steve Nallon were a Greek god - and he says himself it would be pushing the magic of theatre to its limits - he would be Proteus, the god who could change shape. One minute he is an Australian "Dame" with horn-rimmed glasses, the next Ann Widdecombe as a whip-wielding Dominatrix. Nallon casts the parts of Homer's ODYSSEY with a bewildering array of voices from past and present. Telemachus is played by Woody Allen, wiseman Nestor by Alan Bennett. Hermes flies in from the wings with a flurry of nostrils as Kenneth Williams, while Nallon's most famous alter ego, Margaret Thatcher, treads the boards as a post-orgasmic Calypso. And is was a delight to bump into Joan Hickson taking time off from Miss Marple to play the lady's maid. Nallon has added a cyclopic Homer Simpson to his repertoire and the best sequence involves the six-headed monster Scylla comprised of Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter and the Wicked Witch from THE WIZARD OF OZ among others. We also meet Gielgud and Olivier in Hades and Cilla Black marshalling the suitor's for Penelope's appearance on BLIND DATE. STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY is an amiable way to spend an hour with one of impressionism's old masters.
The Stage, 15th August 2002

Margaret Thatcher has an orgasm live on stage every day in this show by one of the original SPITTING IMAGE team. Only, I hasten to add, the Baroness has deigned to play the temptress Calypso in Nallon's somewhat free translation of Homer's epic poem. Translated from, explains Kenneth Williams, in his role as Hermes, messenger of the gods, "Your actual Greek". Nallon himself play Odysseus, who tells the story and explains the tricky bits. Nallon also introduces his huge cast of stage and screen luminaries, including Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Penelope Keith, John Prescott as "the angry and often incoherent god Poseidon" and the Chuckle Brothers. The show is really a vehicle for Nallon's impressions but you have the choice of simply enjoying the jokey irreverence of the story, the surrealism of having it performed by people such as Robin Williams (a brilliant impression) and the impressions themselves.
The Scotsman, 23rd August 2002

Recognising that impressionist Steve Nallon has talent is not hard. His version of Homer's ODYSSEY showcases his many voices at whirlwind speed. Steve's classics were there - his famous Margaret Thatcher, Hyacinth Bouquet and Kenneth Williams - but also, along for the ride, were David Beckham and Barbra Streisand. An hour of Nallon's voices is entertaining and speeds by.
The Evening News, 21st August 2002

 

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