Homer didn’t write page-turners. The greatest of all battle sagas was designed to be actively listened to over 15 or so breathless hours.
For many years, actor/director William Zappa pored over 17 translations, convinced that the live transaction between orator and audience could be rekindled in our times.
The extraordinary result is a performing version for himself, three actors (Heather Mitchell, Blazey Best and Socratis Otto), Michael Askill on percussion and Hamed Sadeghi on Persian oud: it comes in at a snappy 9 hour reading, including enlightening asides from Zappa as part fanboy, part tour guide, and part personal trainer to get our flabby attention spans into peak ancient shape.
He and his troupe make clear this masterpiece – about pride and greed, glory and horror – doesn’t need resuscitating. It’s eternally alive and salient.
Jettison the book or screen and experience real storytelling with your fellow humans – whether it be for a full cycle in one marathon sitting or a shorter dip into the Aegean for one or two parts only.
This Illiad is a prodigious undertaking and a truly awesome achievement.
[Zappa's] sovereign adaptation... embraces all the joyful and bitter shades of human experience, bringing us round the campfire once again.
Event additional information
Adaptation by William Zappa
Director William Zappa
Assistant Director Damien Ryan
Actors Heather Mitchell, Blazey Best, Socratis Otto and William Zappa
Percussion Michael Askill
Oud Hamed Sadeghi
Set and Costume Design Melanie Liertz
Lighting Design Matt Cox
Production and Stage Manager Farlie Goodwin
Premiere Production for Sydney Festival and Co-Produced by Sport for Jove.
Original Commission The Street Theatre Canberra
Adaptation Mentor and Editor Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Minchin FAHA
Producer Leigh Small
Costumes by Jac and Jack
Image Jamie Williams/Hugh Hamilton
The Iliad – Out Loud is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through MATCH Lab.
Donors (The Iliadists)
The Blake Beckett Trust, John Claudianos, Christopher Cocman, Bryony and Tim Cox, Carrillo Gantner, Tony Jones, Lateral Residencies Pty Ltd, Mark Longley, Megisti Property Group, Elizabeth Minchin, Crispin Rice, Annabel Ritchie, Gordon Stalley and the Sky Foundation.