Featuring 24 prominent Melburnians including Magda Szubanski, Sigrid Thornton, Kate Kendall and Jack Charles, a free 12 hour marathon reading of Homer’s Odyssey will be presented by Melbourne’s Stork Theatre at MPavilion on Saturday 1 December 2018 from 11.00am to 11.00pm.
This event will be a world first featuring the new translation from the original Greek by Professor Emily Wilson from the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. Her fresh, contemporary text eradicates the traditional sexism of previous translations and allows the female characters, human and divine, to reveal their agency, intensity, power and emotion.
“12 hours of heroes, gods, ogres, lovers and a cruel, cruel sea. The Odyssey is a voyage that will exhaust you, exhilarate you and will change how you see the life you lead – just as it has done for 30 centuries,” explains creator Helen Madden of Stork Theatre.
“Professor Wilson’s translation is particularly exciting because for the first time the female characters, Calypso, Athena, Circe, Penelope and Helen, are revealed as embodying the same heroic qualities of Odysseus, his cleverness, curiosity, scheming, wiliness and wit.”
Homer’s Odyssey is the ultimate humanist epic. Stork Theatre brings alive the story of a complicated man in an equally complicated world. Hero of the Trojan War, creator of the Wooden Horse, warrior, lover, father, husband, mass murderer and war-torn soldier learning how to live again.
The 12,000 line script will be read in its entirety over this 12 hour extravaganza event. The readings are organised into six sections of four chapters each, with each actor reading one chapter. Audiences are invited to come and go as they please whether they stop by for their favourite chapter or bring a picnic and settle in for the whole journey.
Part One (from 11:00am) – The Hero’s Son featuring Helen of Troy. Read by Magda Szubanski, Jack Charles, Richard Piper and Carolyn Bock.
Part Two (from 1:00pm) – Enter Odysseus featuring Athena and Calypso. Read by Sabrina D’Angelo, Kevin Hopkins, Max Gillies and Denis Moore.
Part Three (from 3:00pm) – The Adventures featuring the Cyclops, Sirens, lotus eaters and Circe. Read by Neil Pigot, Caroline Lee, Peter Craven and Dimity Shepherd.
Part Four (from 5:00pm) – The Homecoming featuring Odysseus’ reunion with his son Telemachus. Read by Sigrid Thornton, Ross Campbell, Sean Scully and Naomi Rukavina.
Part Five (from 7:00pm) – The Hero’s Wife featuring Penelope. Read by Natasha Herbert, Melodie Reynolds, Rod Mullinar and Dimitrios Michalopoulos (The Greek Consul General).
Part Six (from 9:00pm) – The Return of the King featuring the archery contest, the slaughter of the suitors and the bed test. Read by John-Marc Desengano, Marco Chiappi, Kate Kendall and Alexander Madden.
MPavilion – Queen Victoria Gardens (opposite) Arts Centre Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 1 December 2018 (11.00am – 11.00pm)
Image: Sigrid Thornton, Melodie Reynolds, Kate Kendall and Magda Szubanski (supplied)
Note: The free event on Saturday 1 December coincides with the publishing of The Odyssey in paperback – which will be for sale by Readings on the day.