Following the success of its live streamed reading of The Iliad, featuring 66 actors, London’s Almeida Theatre will repeat the feat with Homer’s epic The Odyssey as the final event of its acclaimed Greek season.
The reading will feature more than 40 actors and artists who will perform in unusual locations around London from 09:00 on 12 November. Viewers can watch all the action on the Almeida’s website.
Speaking about the project, Almeida Theatre Artistic Director Rupert Goold said: “We’re delighted with the energy and momentum garnered by Almeida Greeks: new productions, vibrant readings, workshops and special events, and hundreds of actors and creatives coming together to boldly re-interpret the Greeks for audiences in our theatre, in the West End and online around the world. Essential plays made urgent by the most exciting artists: it’s what we at the Almeida are all about.”
The live streaming is the final act of a season that has included the acclaimed reimagining of Oresteia, which is currently playing a West End season, the Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel-led Bakkhai, and current hit Medea, which closes two days after The Odyssey’s reading.
Almeida Theatre Associate Director Robert Icke commented: “We’ve been thrilled by how hungry audiences have proved for a big Greek feast: packed houses at the Almeida, standing room only to hear The Iliad and a West End transfer for Oresteia. It’s been thrilling to meet so many of these texts in the flesh – and to learn about them holistically. The surprise pleasure for me was The Iliad: a very 2015 affair – a special one-off event, streamed live online – but also in its duration, its democratic inclusivity, and its relentless narrative drive, remarkably Homeric.”
The live steaming of The Iliad reached more than 50,000 people worldwide, including those following the live stream and those watching in person at the British Museum and Almeida.
The Almeida Greeks season is followed by two more new revivals of classic texts this autumn.
From 19 November, Richard Eyre returns to Ibsen, having scored award-winning success with Ghosts, to stage a new adaptation of Little Eyolf. This is followed in 2016 by Oresteia adaptor Icke’s new version of Chekhov’s classic Uncle Vanya.