"An ancient tale brilliantly re-told"
by Rebecca Wall for remotegoat on 21/08/16

If we are still reading, listening to, or indeed watching Homer's tales 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey', it is because within them we find themes that continue to enthral us: passion and betrayal, anger and despair.

Taking the first four books of 'The Odyssey' as its inspiration, this play (in the form of a brisk-paced monologue) explores the aftermath of the Trojan War through the eyes of Telemachus, son of Odysseus. Now in his early twenties, Telemachus was just an infant when his father left for a distant war which lasted a decade. While other Greek heroes have returned home, Odysseus has been held captive by the amorous nymph Calypso for seven years, and takes another three to make his way across the Mediterranean to his homeland of Ithaca. Meanwhile, a ravenous host of suitors have been competing for the hand in marriage of Odysseus's wife Penelope, exploiting the Greek concept of hospitality to eat her out of house and home, and Telemachus out of his inheritance. Now, however, the young Telemachus must come of age, and with the benevolent guidance of the goddess Athena embark upon the ancient equivalent of a gap year, journeying across Greece to discover the truth about his father's disappearance, and find the strength to take the action necessary to defeat his enemies.

This is a script that wears its learning lightly. Seeking contemporary resonance in an ancient tale, it reminds us of the endlessly cyclical nature of history, and our own unchanging human nature. The performance was impressively energetic and engaging, with a creative use of music throughout, and the references to contemporary culture and politics are often darkly hilarious. Even those with no interest in or knowledge of the original myth will be hard-pressed not to enjoy it. Highly recommended!

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