Alice Oswald was joined by actors from Central School of Speech and Drama to recite her mesmerising retelling of Homer’s Iliad. Oswald has stripped away everything from the poem apart from the epic similies and the descriptions of death. It is a remembering of the stories of a generation of young men wasted on the battlefield; of the valiance, vitality and guilt of their final moments. I have been inspired to buy the text and suggest everyone else does. Unfortunately the chorus were not as supportive as they should have been, their moving about the stage upset the rhythm of the poetry at points and some of the voices were hard to tune into, although I very much enjoyed the international accents. All Saints Church, a beautiful and majestic venue was not kind to the performers whose voices echoed and were sometimes lost. In brief, five stars for the poem, three for the performance.
All Saint’s Church, 25 May 2012