The Odyssey opens in Cambridge next week


Odyssey - Credit: Archant

Simon Armitage’s modern version of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, a high-ranking government minister is sent on a delicate diplomatic mission to Istanbul.

But when his trip ends up in a horrific bar room brawl, social media explodes and overnight, the darling of a political party becomes Europe’s most wanted man.

English Touring Theatre’s production of The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead, will be at Cambridge Arts Theatre from November 17 to 21.

Today’s Odysseus is chased by the authorities, damned by religious leaders, pursued by those looking for vengeance and head-hunted by fanatics. Now plunged into the ancient past, Odysseus must contend with all the unworldly beings and unnatural phenomena that stand in his way.

The Cyclops, the Sirens, witches, whirlpools and flesh-eating armies must all be overcome in the struggle for survival and the long voyage back to the present day.

At home, with her husband missing presumed dead, his wife Penelope and their young son are besieged by the press, ravenous for the full story.

Award-winning poet and author, Armitage joins creative forces again with director Nick Bagnall after their successful collaboration after The Last Days of Troy, which wowed audiences in the Globe Theatre last year.

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Homer’s Odyssey is the second oldest work of Western literature. Scholars believe it was created near the end of the eighth century BC as part of an oral tradition. It takes the original Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths) 10 years to reach Ithaca after the 10-year Trojan War. He is thought to have died and his wife, the faithful Penelope, must deal with unruly suitors.

Shows 7.45pm with 2.30pm matinees Thursday and Saturday. Tickets, 01223 503333 or