Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Radio Odyssey

I've been lucky in the BBC's ticket lotteries lately, though less lucky with actually getting in to the show. Still smarting from my recent Donovan disappointment, I made certain to be on time for last night's performance of The Penny Dreadfuls Present: The Odyssey.

I had not, I confess, heard of the Penny Dreadfuls, though I had heard individually of at least two of them. I could just about remember the Odyssey, and so could my companion and fellow Classicist, Dave. We met in front of Broadcasting House soon after six, got our tickets stickered, and grabbed a quick coffee before the show. (If you get free tickets to BBC things and then invite your friends to partake, they not only provide the pleasure of their company but very often buy you a drink, too. It's a win/win.)

This version of the Odyssey lasted an hour, with a cast of six portraying all the characters. The three Dreadfuls were joined by three guest stars, including Robert Webb as Odysseus himself (I learned that he corpses in a very sweet and funny way, then hits people with his script).

The humour was more gentle than hold-your-sides funny, taking the mickey out of the outstandingly surreal or horrible parts of the source work, which are many, and of the times when Odysseus comes across as a bit full of himself, ditto. There were running gags and sexy sea-witches and terrible Greek-name-based puns. I enjoyed it very much.

It will be airing on Radio 4 early in September, so keep an ear out.
Tags: radio, theatre

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