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Mark Bruce’s The Odyssey

Photo of The Odyssey cast headshots, in costume

Mon 11 & Tues 12 April 2016

The award-winning Mark Bruce Company, whose critically acclaimed dance theatre production of Dracula performed to sellout audiences across the country in 2013 and 2014, including Exeter, bring their brand new production THE ODYSSEY to Exeter Northcott Theatre on April 11th and 12th.

THE ODYSSEY, Homer’s epic poem written over two thousand years ago, is given the Mark Bruce Company dance theatre treatment; a dramatic, rich re-telling of the ten year journey undertaken by Odysseus after the fall of Troy.  During his struggle to return home the King, (Christopher Tandy) faces the wrath of a reckless god (Chris Akrill) who drags Odysseus on an epic journey across oceans to strange lands and the darkness beyond.  Immortal beauties, shape shifters, monsters and sorcerers both guide and torment the king as he hurtles towards a savage and desperate reunion with his queen (Hannah Kidd).

The cast and creative teams that produced the multi-award winning Dracula present a vision of a broken world; from faded New York pageants to islands of fantasy, brutal seas, battlefields and a gateway to Hades. Set to music ranging from Mozart to Mark Lanegan, Sacred Arias to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and an original Mark Bruce-composed score, this Odyssey is of now: contemporary horror and fantasy splintering from ancient myth; the headlong collision of universal themes, the encounter with mortality and the gods within…

“Mark Bruce’s vision of this dark, cultural foundation stone, is dark, violent and sexy…”
Stage Talk


“Mark Bruce can excite your senses like few others in contemporary dance theatre…Greek myth it may be but the poem has all the timeless ingredients of a gripping story: deceit, naked ambition, violence, and love – and Bruce’s telling, which is not slavish to the poem and characters, slips between Homer and the modern day.”


“Mark Bruce makes in-your-face theatre.  It’s very rock ‘n’ roll: loud, brash, bloody and violent – and not without a touch of humour.  All this works well in a high octane version of the story.”


A £18.50 B £16.50 C £12.50 D £12.50
Concs: £2 off
Schools: £8.50 for groups 10+
Student Standby: £8
Groups 10+ get 11th ticket FREE
Post Show Talk: Mon 11 April




Notes to Editors


Mark Bruce Company – 2014 Awards:

Winners of the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Dance Production – ‘Dracula’

Winners of the Critics’ Circle Award Dance Section for Best Independent Company

Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer (Modern) – Jonathan Goddard for ‘Dracula’

Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dance – Jonathan Goddard for Mark Bruce Company


Mark Bruce on The Odyssey:


 “I read Robert Graves’ work on the Greek myths and enjoyed classical studies at school; I also grew up on the Ray Harryhausen movies.   I’ve never stopped having an interest in Greek myths and always return to them, even unintentionally; they recur in my work all the time.

“In ‘The Odyssey’ I’ve also incorporated the War of Troy and other elements that I think are an essential backstory so that an audience member who has never read the Odyssey should be able to follow the story.  The Odyssey alone is epic and I’ve had to severely edit and pare things down, but I feel I am being faithful to the original.  My aim is to create a world on stage that references the ancient; that is poignant now and encompasses everything from the deeply traumatic experiences of Odysseus and many others but at the same time entertains.  We are creating a very ambitious visual world.

“As always I expect the audience to be entertained, perhaps disturbed, swept away and touched…”
Mark Bruce Company has built up a formidable reputation for critically acclaimed, uncompromising dance-theatre work which often takes the audience on a roller coaster ride into dark and mysterious territory.  The company’s Artistic Director Mark Bruce has choreographed, directed and danced internationally for over 25 years, working with Rosas, Bern Ballet, Ballet Black, Introdans, Igloo, Probe, and DJazzex among others.

Bruce has also worked in a variety of new media, screen and interactive stage productions with Ruth Gibson & Bruno Martelli of Igloo. He has written music for his own work and also for art installations and is published by Mute Song. His book of short stories, Blackout Zones was released in May 2010. Mark is currently completing his book on Choreography and Making Dance Theatre.

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