The Killing of the Revellers Rapsody X by Homer

Thanasis Gavos   Saturday, 30 September 2017; 7:15pm
ancient theatre, Hellenic Centre, Homer

Play with English and Modern Greek Surtitles

Staged as a one-act, 50-minute long drama, ODYSSEUS. Red Rhapsody X revolves around one actor playing a range of roles – Homer the narrator, Odysseus, his son Telemachus, Athena the goddess dressed as Mentor  and several suitors. The actor accompanies the spoken language by an improvised phorminx – a string instrument made of  wire strings attached with magnets. The result is a primitive acoustic experience. Like in ancient drama, there are no octaves, only tetrads.

ODYSSEUS. Red Rhapsody X uses contemporary theatrical and technical means – industrial sounds and percussion,  inspired movements and a rain-machine – to stage the end of the saga for modern audiences. Homer’s poetry is performed in its original rhythmic form while overtitled in English allows spectators to follow what’s literally said. However, the aim of the show is to confront viewers with a highly physical performance and breathe life into an otherwise dead language.

Surviving a ten years’ war and an adventurous journey at sea, Odysseus comes home a stranger in rags and finds his palace taken over by strangers. Over a hundred suitors have occupied the grounds and surrounded his wife, while plotting to steal his throne and kill his only son. The hero devises a plan to take back what’s rightfully his, and that’s where ODYSSEUS. Red Rhapsody X begins. The Slaughter of the Suitors also known as Rhapsody 22 has been described as one of the most brutal, yet most gripping and richly symbolic pieces of world literature.

The final scene of the slaughter is yet another struggle in the Odyssey of struggles. “Reason wins over rage in the slaughter scene. What’s at stake is the quest for individuality and the self,” says actor/director Yiorgos Panteleakis. “The suitors’ names are symbolical. They stand for intrusive thoughts, obsessions, delusions or thinking errors – Antinous (“against reason”), Agelaus (“herd behavior”), Amphinomus (“contradictory”) and so on. Odysseus kills the mind’s chatter on the road to self-awareness.”

ODYSSEUS. Red Rhapsody X aims to take modern audiences on an experimental journey, part time-travel, part discovery, possibly unlike anything they’ve heard before.


Hellenic Centre,
16-18 Paddington Street,
London W1U 5AS



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