Dame Janet Suzman, Miranda Raison, Michael Pennington, Jamael Westman and Kirsty Bushell among the 72 actors performing The Odyssey over 12 hours
In this digital theatrical first, Jermyn Street Theatre joins forces with The London Review Bookshop and publishers WW Norton to stage a live performance of all twenty-four books of Homer’s masterpiece
On Friday 9th October. Dame Janet Suzman begins reading the poem at 9am, streaming live to the London Review Bookshop’s YouTube channel. At 12 noon, Jamael Westman (Hamilton) will start Book 5, streaming live to Jermyn Street Theatre’s own YouTube channel until late that night. Throughout the day, the baton will pass from one actor to the next, reawakening the oral tradition the poem comes from. The recording of Emily Wilson’s acclaimed translation will remain on the bookshop and theatre YouTube channels for a week.
This mammoth undertaking aims to reawaken an oral tradition that hails from the eighth century BCE, when the work was first performed by bards across the Mediterranean.
Further cast members include Michael Pennington, who was appearing as Prospero in The Tempest in the spring, Burt Caesar (For Services Rendered), Emma Fielding (Mary’s Babies), Naomi Frederick (Agnes Colander), Christopher Ravenscroft (The Ruth Rendell Mysteries), Jim Findley (The Tempest), Miranda Raison (Spooks), David Threlfall (Beckett Triple Bill) and Bu Kunene (The Ice Cream Boys).
Jermyn Street Theatre Artistic Director Tom Littler said:
“Dozens of our freelance family of actors, who have appeared on stage at Jermyn Street Theatre or in our online work, are brought together for The Odyssey. It’s a unique opportunity to hear this gripping poem performed by 72 wonderful storytellers.”
The full cast comprises:
Atilla Akinci, Daphne Alexander, Waj Ali, Theo Ancient, Cindy-Jane Armbruster, Naomi Asaturyan, Mercedes Assad, Lydia Bakelmun, Rebecca Banatvala, Annabel Bates, Jessie Bedrossian, Joelle Brabban, Nalan Burgess, Kirsty Bushell, Aaron-Louis Cadogan, Burt Caesar, Sally Cheng, Sam Crerar, Richard Derrington, Edmund Digby-Jones, Viss Elliot Safavi, Lynn Farleigh, Emma Fielding, Jim Findley, Miranda Foster, Gavin Fowler, Naomi Frederick, Skye Hallam, Ian Hallard, Rob Heanley, Tiwalade Ibirogba-Olulode, Paula James, Simon Kane, Adam Karim, Richard Keightley, Asha Kingsley, Jack Klaff, Hannah Kumari, Bu Kunene, Michael Lumsden, Alice McCarthy, Hannah Morrish, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Ellie Nunn, Michael Pennington, Elliot Pritchard, Miranda Raison, Christopher Ravenscroft, Helen Reuben, Judy Rosenblatt, Lara Sawalha, Augustina Seymour, Adam Sopp, Paddy Stafford, David Sturzaker, Janet Suzman, Bea Svistunenko, Issy Van Randwyck, Emanuel Vuso, Jamael Westman, Leah Whitaker and Stanton Wright.