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Merlin Theatre premiere of ‘THE ODYSSEY’ by Mark Bruce Co

The award-winning Mark Bruce Company, whose critically acclaimed dance theatre production of Dracula performed to sellout audiences across the country in 2013 and 2014, open their new production THE ODYSSEY at the Merlin Theatre, Frome on 4th February.

THE ODYSSEY, Homer’s epic poem written over two thousand years ago, is given the Mark Bruce Company dance theatre treatment; a dramatic, rich re-telling of the 10 year journey undertaken by Odysseus after the fall of Troy.

During his struggle to return home the King, (Christopher Tandy) faces the wrath of a reckless god (Jonathan Goddard) who drags Odysseus on an epic journey across oceans to strange lands and the darkness beyond.  Immortal beauties, shape shifters, monsters and sorcerers both guide and torment the king as he hurtles towards a savage and desperate reunion with his queen (Hannah Kidd).

The cast and creative teams that produced the multi-award winning Dracula present a vision of a broken world; from faded New York pageants to islands of fantasy, brutal seas, battlefields and a gateway to Hades.

Set to music ranging from Mozart to Mark Lanegan, Sacred Arias to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and an original Mark Bruce-composed score, this Odyssey is of now: contemporary horror and fantasy splintering from ancient myth; the headlong collision of universal themes, the encounter with mortality and the gods within…

Mark Bruce on The Odyssey: “I read Robert Graves’ work on the Greek myths and enjoyed classical studies at school; I also grew up on the Ray Harryhausen movies.   I’ve never stopped having an interest in Greek myths and always return to them, even unintentionally; they recur in my work all the time.

“In ‘The Odyssey’ I’ve also incorporated the War of Troy and other elements that I think are an essential backstory so that an audience member who has never read the Odyssey should be able to follow the story.

“The Odyssey alone is epic and I’ve had to severely edit and pare things down, but I feel I am being faithful to the original.  My aim is to create a world on stage that references the ancient; that is poignant now and encompasses everything from the deeply traumatic experiences of Odysseus and many others, but at the same time entertains.  We are creating a very ambitious visual world.

“As always I expect the audience to be entertained, perhaps disturbed, swept away and touched…”

‘The Odyssey’ at the Merlin Theatre, 4th to 6th February. – tel:01373 465949.