We were pleased to welcome actor, writer, and educator Paul O’Mahony for a CHS Open House discussion on ‘The Power of Performance: Mythology and Outreach Today’.
He introduces the topic as follows:
I would like to talk about our reception of classical texts and our approaches to performance—finding new and exciting ways to re-imagine them. I will use my own experience both creating and watching various shows (both tragic and comic). I think using mythology and performance in outreach is very important and I would like to talk about my experiences with that as well.
In preparation for this discussion, it would be great if people could read some tragedy—it is all relevant, but perhaps Agamemnon and/or Antigone. I would also love to include Iliad XXIV.
The webcast was recorded and is available for viewing via the video frame below, or you can watch on the Center for Hellenic Studies YouTube channel. View the list of forthcoming events and access a complete list of videos featuring previous visiting scholars and artists on the Videos page here at Hour 25.
Members of Hour 25 can start and continue the conversation associated with this event in this forum thread.
Paul is artistic director of Temple Theatre with whom he created UNMYTHABLE, which won the Three Weeks Editors’ Award in Edinburgh 2012. UNMYTHABLE has toured to more than 80 theatres across the UK, Europe and New Zealand. With Temple he devised Out of Chaos, which in 2008 won Bilbao’s ACT Festival and the 100° Festival in Berlin. Paul wrote their latest show, Norsesome, with co-founder Mike Tweddle.
His work as an actor has included stints with companies such as The Orange Tree Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Opera, among many others. He has toured extensively in the United States with leading roles in Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors From The London Stage).
In 2011 he adapted three Greek tragedies to create The House of Atreus, which was produced at the Barbican in London. With Rob Castell, he recently completed his first full-length musical, Olympia, based (once again!) on Greek mythology. He is associate producer at Jermyn Street Theatre where his credits include All That Fall (starring Michael Gambon and Eileen Atkins), St John’s Night and Mother Adam. He recently returned from Wyoming where he directed Much Ado About Nothing in his role as Eminent Artist-in-residence at the University of Wyoming. Paul studied Classics at Oxford University where he twice won the Cawkwell Prize and was awarded an ancient history scholarship.
Photo: Demeter (Paul O’Mahony) and Zeus “relaxing together,” from UNMYTHABLE. Photo by Alex Brenner