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Playwright Simon Armitage reimagines Odysseus as an MP

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead premieres at Liverpool Everyman in September

Director Nick Bagnall
© Dan Wooller

English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse have announced a new co-production of The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead, reimaging Homer's hero as a modern-day MP.

Running at the Everyman from 25 September to 17 October 2015 ahead of a UK tour, the production reunites playwright Simon Armitage and director Nick Bagnall after their recent collaborations on The Last Days of Troy and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

According to press material:

A high ranking government minister with a colourful past is sent on a delicate diplomatic mission to Istanbul. But when his trip ends up in a horrific bar room brawl, social media explodes and the enigmatic darling of a political party becomes Europe's most wanted man overnight. Chased by the authorities, damned by religious leaders, pursued by those looking for vengeance and head-hunted by fanatics, his Odyssey begins.

Nick Bagnall commented: "The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead is a story Simon and I have wanted to tell since we left the Greeks setting sail for Ithaca in our production of The Last Days of Troy. We are going to sail Odysseus home."

Armitage added: "The new gods sit in Whitehall and Downing Street, no less image-obsessed and power-hungry than their ancient counterparts, and a latter-day borderless Europe forms the backdrop to Odysseus' travels, to a journey that begins at the confluence point of East and West, a place of conflict from the Siege of Troy to the present day."

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead tours to venues including Richmond Theatre (20 – 24 October), Brighton Theatre Royal (27 – 31 October) and Exeter Northcott Theatre (24 – 28 November).