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‘one-man odyssey’

GREAT GREEK HERO WASHED ASHORE AT PITTENWEEM

A Scottish student-come-actor with a passion for all things Classical is about to embark on the biggest production of his dramatic life so far – a one-man outdoor adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey. on the shores of Pittenweem beach.

John J. Taylor, a student at the University of St Andrews, will direct and star in his own adaptation of the great Greek epic as part of a series of summer performances in and around St Andrews.

‘The One Man Odyssey’, a magical tale of Gods, heroes and monsters, is currently running at the Crawford Arts Centre, St Andrews, but this week the show will run a one-off three night indoor and outdoor dramatic spectacular at the Pittenweem Arts Festival. On the 6th, 7th and 8th August, the show’s three acts will be performed on consecutive nights, with the middle night beginning with an outside performance of John playing Odysseus being washed ashore.

The adaptation of the 8th century mythological poem is the brainchild of Artistic Director and actor John, who directed a full-scale show with his company ‘theatre odyssey’ last year.

“When we were rehearsing the original full-cast show, I began to see the possibilities of another script as I got to know all the characters inside-out. I joked about performing a ‘one-man odyssey’ with Heather, our producer, and hey presto! Before I knew it we were in rehearsals!” he said.

“On a very personal level, it made sense to perform a special show at Pittenweem, as I was brought up there. I feel very close to the sea, and as my family were all at one time fishermen, making their own dangerous odysseys, I felt it would be particularly appropriate.”

The story of ‘The Odyssey’ takes place ten years after the Trojan War, and recounts the struggles of hero Odysseus trying to return to his homeland after a twenty year absence. The focus of John’s beach-side performance is taken from Book V of the original poem, where Odysseus collapses on the beach, having swum a great length after losing his boat to a savage storm caused by Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea. Instead of Odysseus being swept ashore by Mediterranean waters, John will improvise with the Firth of Forth!

The one-man performance will feature atmospheric music and sound effects, stunning projected images and the voice of nationally- renowned poet, and Professor of English at the University, Robert Crawford. His narration links the tales together as John enacts Odysseus’ trials and tribulations throughout his journeys.

John, 21, from Pittenweem, has been involved in theatre since the age of 14, writing, acting and directing for various acting bodies, and currently sits on the committees of St Andrews Youth Theatre and StAnza. This summer, in between acting and directing, John will also be running and teaching drama, art and writing workshops for local youngsters.

“The One-Man Odyssey” takes place over three nights in three separate Acts on Monday 6th, Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th August at 6.30pm in the Old Harbour Stores and outside at the harbour, Pittenweem. Tickets cost £2.00 adults / £1.50 concessions for each performance, or £5 adults / £4 concessions for all three. Tickets are available from the Festival box office on 01333 311495.

It is also running at the Crawford Arts Centre, St Andrews on the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th August at 8pm. Tickets cost £5 adults / £4 concessions. Tickets are available from the box office on 01334 474610.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

PICTURE SHOWS JOHN J. TAYLOR REHEARSING ON THE SHORES AT PITTENWEEM.

MORE PICTURES OF ‘THE ONE MAN ODYSSEY’ ARE ALSO AVAILABLE – PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS.

YOU ARE ALSO INVITED TO ATTEND THE TUESDAY EVENING PERFORMANCE AT 3 MID SHORE, PITTENWEEM HARBOUR, PITENWEEM, AT 6.30PM. TO RESERVE A PRESS TICKET, PLEASE EMAIL theatreodyssey@poetic.com IN ADVANCE.

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk

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