Monday, February 24, 2014

Theatre: An Iliad

Homer’s Coat
for the Perth Festival
Written by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson
Based on Homer’s Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Performed by Denis O’Hare, with Brian Ellingsen
Sunken Gardens, UWA
Until February 26
(Albany Entertainment Centre February 28)

We begin with Homer, and nothing other than the Bible and Shakespeare has influenced us more. The poem of the uber-warrior Achilles, that begins “Goddess, sing the rage of Achilles, murderous, doomed, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls”, is as bloody and propulsive as anything ever told. In it, for the first time, psychologically identifiable personalities emerge from the shade.

The American actor Denis O'Hare and his director friend Lisa Peterson have long harboured the idea of bringing The Iliad to the stage, and the result is an unmitigated triumph.
The character O’Hare creates is universal. He’s the man in the tattered coat who’s always looked at the world and seen it for what it was. He’s the miller and the little tramp, Falstaff and Quixote, written by Chaucer and Shakespeare, Voltaire and Cervantes, Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
And, of course, he’s the first of them all. He is Homer.

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian

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