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Howl: An Odyssey
by big mammal
Written by Emma Henry and Evan Silver
Directed by Evan Silver
CLF Art Cafe - March 2019
University of Cambridge (workshop) - February 2019
Supported by the University of Cambridge
Howl: An Odyssey is a theatrical reimagining of Homer's epic tale about a complicated king who is never still and always becoming. This new script by Emma Johnson and Evan Silver queers the Homeric text to explore the fluidity of gender and the multiplicity of identity. The story follows Odysseus’ journey of self-revelation across the vast uncharted sea, and his return home to an Ithaca he no longer recognises, to the Ithaca he has yet to become. This odyssey is a constellation of mythic and mundane encounters, a shroud woven between contested narratives, a plunge into the belly of a whale, a prophecy strung by the wings of birds, and an autopsy on the remains of an ancient beast washed up on the shore.
big mammal is a fledgling devising organism creating multidisciplinary theatrical experiences about the creature-ness of being human and our place in the family of things. We are, all of us, mammals with spines, with warm blood coursing through our veins. We are interested in exploring the ways our defining mammal characteristics – spine, milk, blood, fur – inform our lives. Is the spine courageous or grounded? Does blood mean passion or rhythm? What is the strength of milkiness? Might re-connecting with our non-binary mammal selves constitute an urgent political act? We hunt canonical texts, the natural world, the weather, dreams and each other for clues, questions, and magic.
(Photographs by Brynley Davies)