Indefinite Articles, Dust - A Shadow Odyssey

Review in Issue 12-4 | Winter 2000

Indefinite Articles have used Homer’s Odyssey as the narrative base for their new show Dust and combined it with extremely clever visuals and an excellent original score. The company’s contemporary retelling of the tale is visually resonant and intoxicating. Constantly-changing, vivid dust patterns and drawings translated from an overhead projector onto a screen, are a mesmerising and ingenious method of storytelling. The music controls the pace of the piece to successfully draw the audience into the narrative.

But I do wonder what all the fuss is about Homer’s Odyssey. A guy fights a few mythical creatures and beds a number of goddesses over a period of years whilst ‘desperately’ trying to return to his wife and son. This is a boy’s own adventure story from ancient times. On top of this, Steve Tiplady’s Odysseus is quite laid-back and I can’t really imagine him slaying anything, let alone a one-eyed monster. His tone is that of the storyteller and on that level it works, but it lacks a sense of urgency and purpose during the climaxes. His two female co-performers and artists are kept in the background, busily creating the next brilliant image. Considering the tale’s subject matter, was this deliberate or just an under-use of talented performers and artists?

That said, there is a nice sense of irreverence and humour which comes through the piece and I suspect that with a bit more work it will come alive more from the performers’ point of view. Even Homer’s story may prove to have more punch.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-4
p. 25