Photos are in for the National Theatre’s epic new production The Odyssey: The Underworld, the finale of the National’s multi-location show celebrating national community.
The Odyssey: The Underworld is written by Olivier award-winner Chris Bush, with music by Jim Fortune, and it’s directed by Director of Public Acts, Emily Lim.
A company of 160 people from across the UK are performing alongside professional actors, musicians and cameo performance groups, all to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Public Acts, the National Theatre’s nationwide programme to create extraordinary acts of theatre and community.
This fifth and final episode of the multi-location production brings together community participants from the first four episodes of The Odyssey including those from Restoke in Stoke-on-Trent, Cast in Doncaster, Trowbridge Town Hall in Trowbridge, The Fire Station (for Sunderland Culture in partnership with Sunderland Empire) in Sunderland as well as Public Acts founding theatre partner Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, and Trybe House Theatre in London.
The full professional cast includes Amy Booth-Steel (Blue Jean) as Calypso, Tarinn Callender (Hamilton) as Telemachus, Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Dune) as Odysseus, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt (Hex) as Poseidon, Emma Prendergast (Eastenders) as Athena, and Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye) as Hades.
Cameo performances include The London Bodhrán Band, Haringey Vox Choir, Impact Dance Group, and South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus.
The creative team includes set designer Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey, movement director Dan Canham, costume designer Fly Davis, music supervisor and musical director Tarek Merchant, lighting designer Joshua Pharo and sound designer Paul Arditti.
Playwright Chris Bush said in a statement: “It’s been a pleasure to weave together this epic story of endurance, love and humanity. Assembling our own mini pantheon for world-class artists, performers and communities from across the nation has been a joy. There isn’t anything else quite like it out there.”
The Odyssey: The Underworld is playing in the Olivier theatre of the National Theatre from 26 to 28 August 2023.
Currently playing at the National Theatre is The Effect by Lucy Prebble, starring Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell. Also, the National Theatre revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre until 2 September.
Coming soon to the West End are the National Theatre’s acclaimed productions of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the Noel Coward Theatre (11 October – 25 November 2023); and Jack Thorne’s The Motive and the Cue, also at the Noel Coward Theatre (9 December 2023 – 23 March 2024).