We saw two plays last week, both of them rather non-traditional. The Odyssey was an aleatoric reworking of The Odyssey, while The Story of the Four Minute Mile was told as the audience walked around the racetrack where Roger Bannister ran the first four minute mile in 1954.
The Odyssey was performed in an intimate setting at the bottom of the Norrington Room at Blackwell's bookshop. There was an act for each of the twenty four books of Homer's epic, and at the start of each an audience member drew a potsherd from a bucket, which provided a formal constraint the performers had to abide by in telling the story of that book. In one case they had to tell the story with each performer providing one word at a time. In another they had to perform while holding onto rods that linked them all into a giant loop. In another they had to perform in Ancient Greek. And so forth. So every performance was different and a good deal of improvisation was involved.
This all worked surprisingly well, and we really enjoyed the evening. The performance was nearly three hours long but never dragged.%0
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