The Odyssey revisited... In her production of The Odyssey, Irina Brook and her gang of young actors give a fresh interpretation to the age-old epic: the Sirens sing the blues, Circe is a belly dancer, Hermes zips around on a scooter with wings on his back and Penelope's suitors are all one zanier than the other. All the characters of this mythic story are there. Homer's eternal tale is served up with humor and magic for the pleasure of young and old alike.
For Irina Brook it's the inventive spirit of the actor that gives birth to the magic of her no-frills theatre-in-the-rough, that can bring to life an entire universe using no more than a stick, a rag and a few notes of music: the mythical universe of Homer, for example! Why Homer? Because after having looked into all the classical tales Irina Brook came to the conclusion that is was best to go straight to the top, to the greatest tale ever told, because it has a universal quality and can appeal, on different levels, to all spectators, young and old alike.
Irina Brook and her players chose the best known adventures and misadventures of our wandering hero: the encounter with Circe who changes Ulysses' men into pigs, the amorous Calypso who through her seductive wiles manages to keep Ulysses on her island for 7 years, the episode where Ulysses, captured by the savage Cyclops, Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, puts the giant's single eye out after plying him with wine. Irina Brook has put the focus on the clever side of Ulysses, the hero who comes out on top thanks to his quick wits rather than brute force. The four members of the cast are both storytellers and actors, protagonists and observers. Drums, rain sticks and tambourines give this odyssey its rhythm, a show to be shared, a show where imagination - the actors' and the audience's - calls the tune.
Irina Brook was born in Paris to director Peter Brook and actress Natasha Parry. She spent her childhood between England and France. When she was 18 she went to New York to study acting and got her first taste of stage work in several off-Broadway productions. Back in Paris she played in her father's productions of Chekov's Cherry Orchard and Moliere's Don Juan at the Bouffes du Nord Theatre. Then in London she had a busy period working in television, film and on stage. In the middle of the 1990's she turned her energy to directing. Irina is one of the rare director's invited to direct Ariane Mnouchkine's Troupe, Theatre du Soleil in a production of All's Well That Ends Well for the Avignon Theatre Festival. Irina has also directed several operas. In 2002, she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.
Directed by: Irina Brook, adaptation: Irina Brook, Jean-Claude Carrière, costumes and set: Noëlle Ginefri ve spolupráci s Magali Perrin-Toinin a Gérard Carrier, lighting design: Arnaud Jung, sound design: Julien Vallespi, Thomas Boizet; cast: Renato Giuliani, Ysmahane Yaqini, Raphael Leguillon, Tony Mpoudja.
Compagnie Irina Brook
based on Homer’s poem