Meschke, Odyssevs

Michael Meschke’s Odysseus – Saga of the Sea (1978)
Text: Gösta Kjellin
Music: Dómna Samiou
Technique: Rod puppets
Direction and puppets: Michael Meschke
Guest performances: London (Puppet Theatre ’79 Festival) and Waasa in 1979; Palermo and Witten, Germany, in 1985.

“The ambition of the adaptation of Homer´s classical epic by Gösta Kjellin is to make it accessible to a young audience. Tangible action meet poetry, all seen from the perspective of a child, namely the hero’s son Telemakos. Identification is near, what child nowadays is not familiar with waiting for a father who is not there? The endless sea lies between and interacts with Ulysses´ fragile ship, the waiting son and wife Penelope on an emerging rock island, and even the audience, seated in groups, surrounded by—and almost drowned in—huge blue waves of cloth in motion. The dramatic journey of Ulysses and his few sailors, all sculpted forms inspired by Cycladic sculptures, took place inmost the audience. The rod puppet players moved forward inside the ship, carrying it, hidden by its sides and manipulating the rods above the rail.” Michael Meschke.

Michael Meschke’s Odysseus – Saga of the Sea (1978). Photo: Lesley Leslie-Spinks