In Steve Nallon's brilliantly funny one-man show the impressionist, actor and comedian invites you to join him and his 'troupe of characters' on a remarkable journey. Using his vast array of voices, Steve has assembled one of the biggest stellar celebrity casts imaginable - including Woody Allen, Dame Maggie Smith, David Beckham, Tony Blair, Patricia Routledge, Yoda, Ann Widdecombe, Bugs Bunny, Kenneth Williams, John Hurt, Barbra Streisand, Alan Bennett, Sir Lawrence Olivier, and many, many more - to truly bring to life Homer's classic tale of love, laughter, sex and adventure.
STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY is so simply presented audiences certainly don't need to have any knowledge of the original to enjoy the show. And with a range of voices so wide the show has a truly universal appeal. Whether you like the comedy of Graham Norton, the stand-up of Robin Williams or have been around long enough to appreciate the mannered acting of Maggie Smith, the over-the-top sincerity of Barbra Streisand or the distinct mellow tones James Mason there is something for everyone to enjoy.
And STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY is a great family show. Although it has all the adult themes of Homer's classic tale, including sex, conflict and death, there is no swearing and nothing that would cause too much offence. The show has been very much enjoyed by families with children as young as twelve or so and even though such children do not always recognize every member of the celebrity cast they certainly delight in the different voices and characterizations.
Steve is your 'storyteller' and, as the major episodes of the ODYSSEY are acted out by his famous personas, Steve is all the 'performers'. But his role goes even further than either storyteller or performer because part of the fun of the show from Steve also being 'casting director' and 'producer' of the show itself. And Steve's attempt to control his egocentric cast of actors, celebrities and politicians is both hilarious and highly theatrical. In the disputes and exchanges between 'Steve' and his 'cast' the audience gain a real sense of a show being created right there in front of them!
STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY is the story of the magical journey home of ancient Greek's most famous accidental tourist - Odysseus. At the end of the Trojan War Odysseus set off for home, a journey that was to last ten years. Steve Nallon follows the original structure of Homer's ODYSSEY and begins the show with the gods releasing Odysseus for the last stage of that journey. But even the last leg has problems and Odysseus is forced to rest on the island of Phaeacia. It is here that Odysseus tells the tale of his long adventures - how he encountered magical sea creatures, sexual temptresses, angry gods, one-eyed giants and the ghosts of his fellow Greek heroes of the Trojan War.
Homer's ODYSSEY is one of the greatest stories of all time. Its themes and ideas can be found in nearly every story ever told. The underlying motifs of the ODYSSEY are universal - the need for home, the quest for one's father, the soldier returning from war - and they can be found in so many movie classics such as THE WIZARD OF OZ, STAR WARS, and THE DEERHUNTER. So in Steve's unique version of the story he doesn't just tell us the story of the ODYSSEY he is also our guide round its ideas and themes, especially those of the search for love, the regaining humanity after conflict and the need to tell one's story.
In the ODYSSEY, Homer tells us one of the world's first great stories concerning Odysseus, one of the world's great storytellers. Odysseus is also a man of many identities, who loves being other people. A perfect role for a chameleon actor and impressionist! In STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY the 'storyteller' is brought right up to date because Steve plays every character in the ODYSSEY as a famous actor, politician, sports commentator, television celebrity or singer - over fifty voices in all - thus giving Homer's original glorious narrative a uniquely comic and contemporary feel.
STEVE NALLON'S BIG ODYSSEY toured in the spring of 2003 to
Stahl Theatre, Peterborough
Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans
Chesterfield Arts Centre, Chesterfield
Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Riverside Theatre, Northern Ireland
Norden Farm Centre, Maidenhead
Customs House, South Shields South Shields
Alnwick Playhouse, Alnwick
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
Theatre Royal: Guildhall, Bury St Edmunds
Garrison Theatre, Lerwick, Shetlands
Electric Theatre, Guildford
Square Chapel Centre for Performing Arts, Halifax
Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas and the Jermyn Street Theatre, London West End.
The show premiered at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August 2002 at the Assembly Rooms. The show was first presented in a workshop version at the Little Angel Theatre in Islington on the 16 February 2002. This was followed with presentations in the early summer of 2002 at the Aldeburgh Festival and the Midland Arts Centre, Birmingham.