Sigrid Thornton, Magda Szubanski, Kate Kendall, Jack Charles and more to feature in a Free Reading of Homer's THE ODYSSEY

Sigrid Thornton, Magda Szubanski, Kate Kendall, Jack Charles and more to feature in a Free Reading of Homer's THE ODYSSEY

Featuring 24 prominent Melburnians including Magda Szubanski, Sigrid Thornton, Kate Kendall and Jack Charles, a FREE 12 hour marathon reading of Homer's Odyssey by Melbourne's Stork Theatre can be seen at MPavilion on 1 December 2018 from 11am to 11pm.

This event will be a world first featuring the new translation from the original Greek by Professor Emily Wilson from the University of Pennsylvania, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. Her fresh, contemporary text eradicates the traditional sexism of previous translations and allows the female characters, human and divine, to reveal their agency, intensity, power and emotion.

"12 hours of heroes, gods, ogres, lovers and a cruel, cruel sea. The Odyssey is a voyage that will exhaust you, exhilarate you and will change how you see the life you lead - just as it has done for 30 centuries," explains creator Helen Madden of Stork Theatre.

"Professor Wilson's translation is particularly exciting because for the first time the female characters, Calypso, Athena, Circe, Penelope and Helen, are revealed as embodying the same heroic qualities of Odysseus, his cleverness, curiosity, scheming, wiliness and wit," added Madden.

Recent years have seen a radical resurgence in the popularity of the Homeric epics. Adam Nicholson says, "Why does Homer matter? Because he tells us how we became who we are," (The Mighty Dead).

Homer's Odyssey is the ultimate humanist epic. Stork Theatre brings alive the story of a complicated man in an equally complicated world. Hero of the Trojan War, creator of the Wooden Horse, warrior, lover, father, husband, mass murderer and war-torn soldier learning how to live again.

The 12,000 line script will be read in its entirety over this 12 hour extravaganza event. The readings are organised into six sections of four chapters each, with each actor reading one chapter.

Audiences are invited to come and go as they please whether they stop by for their favourite chapter or bring a picnic and settle in for the whole journey.

PART ONE FROM 11:00AM - The Hero's Son featuring Helen of Troy. Read by Magda Szubanski, Neil Morris and others

PART TWO FROM 1:00PM - Enter Odysseus featuring Athena and Calypso. Read by Caroline Lee, Richard Piper and others

PART THREE FROM 3:00PM -The Adventures featuring the Cyclops, Sirens, lotus eaters and Circe. Read by Dimity Shepherd, Neil Pigot and others

PART FOUR FROM 5:00PM - The Homecoming featuring Odysseus' reunion with his son Telemachus. Read by Jack Charles, Sigrid Thornton and others

PART FIVE FROM 7:00PM - The Hero's Wife featuring Penelope. Read by Sigrid Thornton, Melodie Reynolds and others

PART SIX FROM 9:00PM - The Return of the King featuring the archery contest, the slaughter of the suitors and the bed test. Read by Kate Kendall, Marco Chiappi and others

The free event on 1 December will coincide with the publishing of The Odyssey in paperback, which will be for sale by Readings on the day.

Stork Theatre is the creation of Helen Madden beginning in 1983 with an idea for a Fairfield Amphitheatre on the banks of the Yarra. Since then it has staged annual productions of Virgil, Homer and other great literary works of the West for Melbourne audiences.

Homer's Odyssey by Stork Theatre A FREE EVENT 11am - 11pm, Saturday 1 December 2018 MPavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens opp. Arts Centre Melbourne

For further information on Stork Theatre, visit For further information on the 2018/19 MPavilion program, visit

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