News: James Purefoy leads all-star cast for the Jermyn Street’s epic Odyssey

Jermyn Street Theatre has announced casting for its marathon performance of Homer’s The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson.

James Purefoy (RomeFisherman’s FriendsChurchill) stars as Odysseus, the Greek hero whose ten-year journey home from Troy is the heart of Homer’s epic poem. Purefoy is joined by Susannah Harker (Pride and PrejudiceHouse of Cards) as his wife Penelope, new graduate Chirag Benedict Lobo as his son Telemachus, renowned Shakespearean actor Michael Pennington as his father Laertes, Clare Perkins (EmiliaSweat) as Athena, the goddess who guides his journey, and Marion Bailey (The CrownMr TurnerVera Drake) as his devoted nurse Eurycleia. The ensemble cast is completed by Jim FindleySam CrerarDavid Sturzaker and Robert Mountford, all returning to Jermyn Street Theatre.

The performance runs on Sunday 1 August in six parts, each featuring a guest narrator: Doña Croll narrates The Boy and the Goddess at 9.30am; Dame Janet Suzman leads The Songs of a Poet at 12.30pm; Lisa Dwan plays Circe in The Winds and the Witch at 2.45pm; Miranda Raison narrates Father and Son at 5.30pm; Hattie Morahan narrates The Queen and the Beggar at 7.30pm; and Rachel Pickup closes the story with The Olive Tree Bed at 10pm.

The performance is dramatised and directed by Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director, Tom Littler. Littler said:

The Odyssey is one of the greatest stories ever told, emerging from an oral tradition across the Mediterranean. Emily Wilson’s translation makes it fresh, funny, and heart-stoppingly dramatic. This should be a unique theatrical occasion – a day to remember.”

Due to social distancing, the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre can accommodate only fifty audience members at each event. The entire day is being live-streamed, and a ticket to watch At Home gives the option to catch-up any time during August. 

9.30am: The Boy and the Goddess
12.30pm: The Songs of a Poet
2.45pm: The Winds and the Witch
5.30pm: Father and Son
7.45pm: The Queen and the Beggar
10.00pm: The Olive Tree Bed

Each part lasts 90-120 minutes.
Footprints Festival Ticket Band B:
£29 (£26 concessions), or £21.75 (£19.50 concessions) with a Festival Pass

Any profits support Jermyn Street Theatre’s career development work through the Creative Associates programme. 

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