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The Odyssey: Episode 5 - The Underworld

a new play by Chris Bush with music by Jim Fortune

Booking and details

26 — 28 August 2023
This show has now ended
The event location is

Olivier Theatre

National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

No-one is lost for all time.

Held captive by the nymph Calypso, Odysseus has all but given up hope of ever returning home. Back on Ithaca, her son Telemachus plots a rescue, and high above on Mount Olympus, the Gods convene to set her one final trial – a voyage to Hades, land of the dead.

But high above on Mount Olympus, the Gods are convening to decide the fate of Odysseus, and if she should be allowed to return home to Ithaca.

The Gods agree to release Odysseus, but first she must pass through Hades, the land of the dead, to finally reach home.

To mark the fifth anniversary of Public Acts, The Odyssey is reimagined for today in an epic retelling with hundreds of community members across the country.

About The Odyssey

This national, multi-venue production is told over five parts, with each episode of Odysseus’ journey created and performed by local artists and communities from four partner organisations: Restoke in Stoke-on-Trent, Cast in Doncaster, Trowbridge Town Hall in Trowbridge and The Fire Station (for Sunderland Culture in partnership with Sunderland Empire) in Sunderland.

The final part of Odysseus’ epic journey culminates in a full-scale musical production on the Olivier stage at the National Theatre, bringing together community performers from all four partner organisations, and members recruited through Public Acts founding community partners in London, founding theatre partner  Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, and Trybe House Theatre in London.

Suitability

Please note this production includes some scenes with loud music and noises, as well as flashing and strobe lights. Audiences will be able to exit the auditorium to take a break as needed.

Reviews

★★★★★

‘a heart-soaring mass chorus on the theme of ‘home’’

Financial Times

★★★★

‘an epic musical production with community at its heart’

London Theatre

Video

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Watch the trailer

Play Video

Emily Lim & Chris Bush in conversation

Gallery

More from The Odyssey

The Odyssey: Episode 1 - The Lotus Eaters
A group of people dancing around a golden shaft of light leading upwards to a three-chimney building on a hill with a fire harnessed inside

The Odyssey: Episode 1 - The Lotus Eaters

Presented by Restoke, written by Gabriella Gay and the company.
30 March — 2 April 2023
This event has passed
Restoke, Stoke-On-Trent
The Odyssey: Episode 2 - The Cyclops
Craggy islands in the middle of a sea with a figure on one island holding up a large stone facing a set of figures watching on from another island.

The Odyssey: Episode 2 - The Cyclops

Presented by Cast, written by Tajinder Singh Hayer
15 — 16 April 2023
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Cast, Doncaster
The Odyssey: Episode 3 - The Four Winds
A craggy island with tower, a ship with sail and oars caught in a storm and a three-headed sea monster

The Odyssey: Episode 3 - The Four Winds

Presented by Trowbridge Town Hall, written by Florence Espeut-Nickless
22 — 23 April 2023
This event has passed
Trowbridge Town Hall
The Odyssey: Episode 4 - The Island of the Sun
A three-headed sea monster approaching a lighthouse on a moonlit night.

The Odyssey: Episode 4 - The Island of the Sun

Presented by The Fire Station (For Sunderland Culture in partnership with Sunderland Empire Theatre), written by Lindsay Rodden
28 — 29 April 2023
This event has passed
The Fire Station, Sunderland

Supporters

Theatre Nation Partnerships is generously supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation.

Public Acts is supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The CareTech Charitable Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Mosawi Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and Susan Miller and Byron Grote.

Cast

 

Production team

Chris Bush

Chris Bush

Writer

Jim Fortune

Jim Fortune

Composer

Emily Lim

Emily Lim

Director

Dan Canham

Dan Canham

Movement Director

Tarek Merchant

Tarek Merchant

Music Supervisor and Musical Director

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey

Set Designer

Fly Davis

Fly Davis

Costume Designer

Joshua Pharo

Lighting Designer

Paul Arditti

Paul Arditti

Sound Designer

The Odyssey: Episode 5 Ticket prices

£20 and £40.

U18s half price on £20 tickets.

Accessible performances

All performances of The Odyssey: Episode 5 are audio-described, captioned and chilled.

Illustration by Ignasi Font