George Mann shows off his immense skill as a performer in this brilliant rendition of Homer's classic story. Physical theatre is used to its fullest extent, with a completely bare stage leaving Mann using only his body and voice with which to tell the tale.
Mann pulls this off flawlessly. He is a master of movement, sometimes engaging his entire body, sometimes only raising an eyebrow; no matter which, he is in constant and complete command of the audience's attention. There is a relentless energy and momentum to the piece, and the audience are gripped helplessly in its clutches until the very end.
Playing every character seems effortless, as subtle yet monumental alterations in stance and facial expression easily reveal whom Mann is portraying before he's even spoken. His depiction of the seductive nymph, Calypso, is particularly amusing, and he captures both Odysseus' powerful and vulnerable sides perfectly. There are small moments of humour woven into the piece which lift the tone beautifully and provide some much-needed relief from the struggles of Odysseus' journey.
Mann's incredible vocal abilities also shine through, as he creates every sound effect needed throughout. From the sound of a Cyclops' footsteps to an arrow being fired from a bow, each sound is uncannily accurate and a wonder to behold. Atmospheric lighting helps enhance the mood, but Mann really doesn't need much help - he is a tour de force, and the show's success lies with him.
Odyssey is powerful, relentless and beautiful. I reckon Homer would be proud of this one.
Odyssey is on at Pleasance Dome at 13:15 until August 28th, excluding the 15th and 22nd. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the EdFringe website.