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James Purefoy to Lead THE ODYSSEY at Jermyn Street Theatre

Purefoy is joined by Susannah Harker, Clare Perkins, and Marion Bailey.

James Purefoy to Lead THE ODYSSEY at Jermyn Street Theatre

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

James Purefoy (Rome, Fisherman's Friends, Churchill) 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 Prejudice, House 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 (Emilia, Sweat) as Athena, the goddess who guides his journey, and Marion Bailey (The Crown, Mr Turner, Vera Drake) as his devoted nurse Eurycleia. The ensemble cast is completed by Jim Findley, Sam Crerar, David 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: Dona 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.

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

Earlier in the Footprints Festival, Jatinder Verma, former Artistic Director of Tara Arts, directed a staged reading of Sanskrit epic The Mahabharata, with a cast of Shaheen Khan, Sharon Singh, Medhavi Patel, Josephine Lloyd-Welcome, Vineeta Rishi, Harvey Virdi, Shobna Gulati, Goldy Notay, Shelley King, Sasha Behar, Sudha Bhuchar and Stephanie Street. The film of the performance is available to view throughout July.

Jermyn Street Theatre is the West End's smallest producing theatre. The Stage's Fringe Theatre of the Year 2021, it is led by Artistic and Executive Directors Tom Littler and Penny Horner. The programme includes outstanding new plays, rare revivals, new versions of European classics, and high-quality musicals, alongside one-off musical and literary events. It collaborates with theatres across the world, and its productions have transferred to the West End and Broadway. Its 2020 had begun with acclaimed, sold-out productions of a Beckett Triple Bill directed by Trevor Nunn, and The Tempest directed by Tom Littler. During closure, the theatre has responded with its Brave New World season of digital work, including the complete cycle of Shakespeare's sonnets performed by a mixture of graduating drama students and household names including Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Colman and the acclaimed 15 Heroines with DigitalTheatre+ featuring adaptations of Ovid from writers including Juliet Gilkes Romero and Timberlake Wertenbaker.


The Odyssey

By Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Directed by Tom Littler

1 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


020 7287 2875
and online at

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