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.