Seven women meet at the funeral of a prominent politician who they all loved, and discover what they really meant to the ‘golden boy’.
In a razor-sharp feminist take on the Odyssey. Penelope, Helen, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, Circe and Calypso all tell their stories with a live band and beautiful harmonies.
The songs took in different genres and themes, but all were excellent and well-sung. Helen and Circe’s vocals stood out for me, and I particularly loved the latter’s ode to women freeing themselves and finding pleasure on their own terms. Indeed, the various roles of women come to the fore, from Calypso’s lament for her stolen son to Aphrodite’s searing commentary on unrealistic beauty standards.
As a Classicist I loved the twist on the traditional Odyssey characters. Aphrodite becomes a gossipy journalist, Circe a dominatrix, and Athena a canny businesswoman. The small band of violin, cello, piano and trumpet had plenty of chances to shine in between the mourners’ memories of Odysseus. I’d have liked to see some more development of both the Penelope/Athena and Helen/Circe relationships, but overall I really enjoyed the anger, sorrow, lust and joy shared by the women.
Nine Muses Theatre Company aim to bring female creatives to the forefront in a male-dominated theatre industry, and with this ode to the power of women telling their own stories they’ve more than succeeded.