Odyssey Lite

Subtitled The Odyssey of Homer, A Tale of Love, Adventure and Sub-Standard Navigation Near Ancient Greece, this was the script of the play I and two others performed for Stephen and Mathilde’s wedding feast. Rob played all the women and baddies, including the Cyclops (with a hand placed solemnly over one eye), and his lovely wife Natal’a played Odysseus.

[September 1998]

Odysseus, who fought the Trojan War,
Was master of the sword and axe and knife,
But still he had one single, fatal flaw:
He couldn’t steer a ship to save his life.

He fought the Trojan War with might and main,
But Ithaca was home to him, not Troy.
So now he yearned to see his wife again,
And thought he’d take a shortcut – silly boy!

He first got stuck, and strangely feel asleep
Upon the lotus eaters’ misty isle.
He next got trapped by Cyclops and his sheep,
But bested him in true heroic style.

Aeolus helped him trap the roguish breeze,
But then they all escaped — what rotten luck.
And Circe turned them all, despite their pleas,
From human form to pig, or cow, or duck.

The Sirens sang, and drove them all insane;
With wax inside their ears they battled free.
Charybdis tried to whirl them down the drain,
While Scylla tried to eat them all for tea.

Apollo told them, “All these cows are mine!”
The men, however, fancied steak, so: ZAP!
Then shipwreck dunked them all into the brine;
Odysseus alone survived this trap.

Odysseus upon a rock was stuck,
Without a boat to take him home to Greece.
But Zeus was rather fond of him, by luck,
And right away secured the man’s release.

Telemachus, his son, arrived by chance,
And told him news of Ithaca, his throne.
For several men, all scheming for romance,
Had realised that his wife was all alone.

He dressed in rags, all smelly and unkempt,
And watched the suitors cruelly bickering.
They treated him with undisguised contempt,
For no-one knew this beggar was their king.

Penelope, his lovely wife, decreed
A contest would be held within the town.
The winner, she reluctantly agreed,
Would gain her hand in marriage, and the crown.

The suitors took their turns at feats of strength.
The beggar sat and let them have their fun.
And when they’d proved their skills at boring length,
The beggar stood and bested every one!

He lifted up his sword and, with a lunge,
Beheaded half, and skewered all the rest.
They had to clean them all up with a sponge,
Odysseus was proved the first and best.

It took a dozen years from out his life,
And every night his noble passion burned.
For Ithaca, his home, and for his wife:
Odysseus, the King, at last returned.