Orpheus - the Mythical

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical. Content by Chloe Nelkin Consulting.

This March, the Orpheus Centre celebrate their 20th birthday with a musical extravaganza at The Other Palace. Highlighting their important work, alumni and current students from this pioneering disabilities charity will join forces with recent graduates from the Arts Educational School to present Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus – The Mythical.

This witty musical comedy of a Greek tragedy follows Orpheus on an expedition hindered at every stage by bored, capricious gods and a dodgy satnav.

He joins the heroic Argonauts to vanquish a dragon to steal the legendary golden fleece. But on his return, his quest is not over. He must descend to the Underworld to rescue his wife Eurydice from the depths of Hades. Guiding the telling of this tale, the Greek Chorus will be played on different nights by Jane Asher, Rob Brydon, Bertie Carvel, and more. 

Sir Richard Stilgoe said, We are performing with Arts Educational because we do inclusive stuff and not disabled stuff; the whole purpose of Orpheus is to mix young disabled people up with the real world and not separate them. These are terrific and confident performers who concentrate on what they can do rather than what they can’t. Orpheus changes young disabled people’s lives. It changes the lives of the staff and the 98 volunteers who work with them.  It changes the lives of everyone who attends one of their shows. It has changed my life immeasurably.

Sir Richard Stilgoe founded the Orpheus Trust in 1998 in his former family home in Surrey to inspire young disabled people to greater independence though performing arts experiences. The Orpheus Centre offers a personalised study programme focusing on building independence, communication and social interaction skills through the arts, supported housing and a personal care service. The students stay at Orpheus for up to three years and are between the ages of 18 and 25 and have learning and/or physical disabilities. The focus at the Orpheus Centre is on maximising lasting independence for the students.

Orpheus Centre

The Orpheus Centre is an independent specialist college in Surrey that believes disabled people should have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. They aim to equip young disabled people with the skills and confidence they need to live independent and fulfilling lives. By inspiring and empowering their students to achieve their ambitions they have become a centre of excellence in performing and visual arts. The students have performed at the House of Lords, the Royal Albert Hall and venues across the UK and worked with schools, prisons, community groups and businesses to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes. In 2018 they are celebrating their 20th anniversary year.

Sir Richard Stilgoe, OBE, DL

Richard Stilgoe has spent fifty years as a performer and writer in all forms of the performing arts.  On television he appeared on Nationwide, That’s Life and several series of his own.  On stage he toured for many years with his one-man show and subsequently his two-man show with Peter Skellern. He wrote lyrics for Cats, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera, music and lyrics for Bodywork , Brilliant the Dinosaur, ‘Orpheus – the Mythical’ and the libretto for the community operas Road Rage and The Freedom Game.  His broadcasting work has earned him the New York Radio Festival Gold Award, three Monaco Festival Prizes and the Prix Italia.  In 1997 he founded the Orpheus Centre in Surrey, where young disabled people prepare for independent living through a series of performing arts courses. Richard was knighted in the Jubilee honours list of 2012.

Arts Educational School

ArtsEd has developed over the years and today their musical theatre training is recognised as the best in the UK.  Their acting for film and TV training has been praised for its innovation and the day school is the highest ranking performing arts school in the UK. Based in Chiswick in West London, they play a vibrant role in their local community.  Many local residents see shows, enjoy training and use the theatre facilities each year.  Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber became President in 2007, following in the footsteps of Dame Alicia Markova and heralding an auspicious new era for ArtsEd.

Orpheus - The Mythical

23 March - 31 March

This witty musical comedy of a Greek tragedy follows Orpheus on an expedition hindered at every stage by bored, capricious gods and a dodgy satnav.

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