Grimm springboard to stage career

Jessica Oyo is hoping a career in acting lies ahead of her.

Jessica Oyo in rehearsal for CFYT's GRIMM TALES Photo by Richard Gibbons
Jessica Oyo in rehearsal for CFYT's GRIMM TALES Photo by Richard Gibbons

She is taking an important step towards realising the ambition this summer.

Jess is one of the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre company who are currently bringing to life Grimm Tales for Young and Old.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Performances are being delivered promenade style in the atmospheric grounds of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, running until Saturday, August 19.

Jess, who lives in Selsey, has just started an acting course at Chichester College. She is hoping everything will one day add up to a career in showbiz.

She brings to it all a long-held fascination with the whole notion of character creation.

“I would be very happy if I did continue acting. I think acting is the path that I want to go down.

“I have been acting for as long as I can remember. I have been doing lots of school plays from the age of about eight, I suppose.

“The whole performing thing is quite daunting, but personally, I just love the idea of exploring the person that you are going to be completely immersing yourself in.

“You have got to know who you are so that you can leave yourself behind and become this other person.”

Preparation is therefore important.

“Usually I just read as much about the character that I am going to be. If it is scripted, you have got to study it. If it is not scripted, you will have to try to think what your life is really like as that person so that you can go with it.

“With this production, we are a lot of different characters, and the script does not give you that much about them. You have got to give a lot to your imagination and imagine what their lives would be like, whether you are a cockerel or whatever.”

The tales being presented are Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, The Three Snake Leaves Hans My Hedgehog, The Juniper Tree and The Goosegirl at the Spring.

Jess is a servant in Hans My Hedgehog and a goldsmith in The Juniper Tree. They are retold by Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials and The Firework-Maker’s Daughter.

“Hans My Hedgehog is a very strange story about a boy who is half boy, half hedgehog. It’s a very weird story when we first read it, but it has quite a twisty turn about how this half boy, half hedgehog grows up. There are a lot of hidden morals. I think the idea is about his struggles being different.

“The servant finds himself very fazed by the whole thing and is not very sure how to deal with it. The servant is very confused and doesn’t want people to think that he is crazy.”

As for The Juniper Tree: “It is the last story, and it is the darkest story of them all. It is a about a boy that is having quite a hard time with his family, and there is a tree that influences quite a lot of the action that happens…”

The audience will follow the production on foot through a variety of locations, including some steep and uneven ground. There are no parking facilities at Cass Sculpture Foundation. Your ticket for Grimm Tales for Young and Old includes free car parking at Chichester College where the adventure will begin as buses transport you to the venue at the times specified and return immediately following the performance.

Evening performances – bus leaves 6.30pm; 3pm matinee performances – bus leaves 2.15pm; and 4.30pm matinee performances – bus leaves 3.45pm.

Tickets from Chichester Festival Theatre.

Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.