REVIEW: Andreas Litras’ ODYSSEY

The first great hero quest is reimagined into a moving modern story

By Anastasia Russell-Head

Homer’s Odyssey is – literally – epic. Even the synopsis on Wikipedia runs to over 2000 words! Andreas Litras’ one-man play of the same name skillfully blends a retelling of the ancient story with a more recent “odyssey” – the journey of his parents from Greece to Australia, and his own reconciliation with his Greek heritage – making both stories very much human-sized yet epic in their universality.

Home, homecoming and home-finding are powerful themes interwoven throughout the show, which runs the gamut from physical laugh-out-loud comedy to heart-wrenching poignancy.

The star of the show really is Litras himself, both as subject matter and storyteller. Under the expert direction of John Bolton, he is consistently engaging and entertaining, and overall a superb performer, able to conjure a storm at sea, a fish and chip shop, or a gravesite with just a few props, some clever lighting and utmost conviction.

The audience, which included a large group of schoolgirls on an excursion, were absolutely transfixed throughout the 90-minute performance.

Migrant stories such as this are important in contemporary Australia. Although the immigrants in this story arrived in this country more than 50 years ago, the story is very relevant to the experience of many today – leaving one’s home country following war, arriving in a strange place, learning the language, negotiating a new set of norms, forming a community, and raising a family.

The (recent) history of this country is a story of immigration, and this play brings this (his)story vividly to life, complete with all the laughs and tears, setbacks and triumphs such tales are replete with.

Until 31 March
The Open Stage
757 Swanston St
Cnr Swanston and Grattan
Parkville, Victoria 3010

Wednesdays – Saturdays – 7.30pm
School Matinees – Thurs, Fri – 1pm

Adult – $38
Concession – $25

Bookings: Call 1300 099 660 or book online


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