The Odyssey

Event Type

A new version by Gavin Kostick

Live presentation of a work-in-progress


MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland, Dublin

January 23, 2022 4:00 PM



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Admission free

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The Odyssey

About the event

Tell me, Muse, about that man ‘who was driven wide, thrown far…’ Irish playwright Gavin Kostick is the latest writer to take on the daunting task of translating one of the oldest and most influential texts in Western literature, Homer’s narrative of Odysseus’ adventures at sea. Its 12,000 lines describe all that Odysseus survives on his circuitous return home from the Trojan War – the storms, the reversals of fortune, the transformations and tricks.  

Join us to watch Gavin Kostick’s dynamic new adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey take shape, in a special work-in-progress presentation performed live by Janet Moran, Gavin Kostick, with an original live score by composer Andrew Synnott.

‘At seven years old I was again in a new school and reading The Odyssey in the playground. The school was called St Mary's Without the Walls, which was the most interesting thing about it. The playground was dark, enclosed, and I was leaning against a rail that kept the older children from the younger ones. A boy came over and smacked the book out of my hands and stamped on it. I still have the book - the old Penguin Classics version - with the little footprint visible. There's something in that incident about adventurers and observers, but I still can't quite say I've worked it out. I do know I appreciated the other boy's perspective – it was playtime, I should have been playing tag. He was the Achilles of the situation. But the otherworld, the world of gods, was so full and rich and I would wholly live there if I could. If only there was a way of bringing the world of doing and the world of dreaming together.’
Gavin Kostick

The Making of the Odyssey

Presented in partnership with MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland
Admission free; booking required, as space is limited

Top image courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum


Gavin Kostick is an award-winning playwright whose work is produced nationally and internationally. He works with a wide range of fellow artists, festivals, companies and other collaborators. Gavin is the Literary Manager at Fishamble theatre company, where he works with a wide range of writers across a variety of schemes to develop new plays for the public. He is a tutor in playwriting and dramaturgy both at Trinity College Dublin and at The Lir Academy.

The Odyssey continues an investigation into adapting long work for the stage, which includes Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: Complete, a six-hour show for Dublin Fringe, Dublin Theatre Festival and the London Festival of Literature at the Southbank. That work was also in collaboration with composer Andrew Synnott.

Janet Moran is an actor, playwright and director based in Dublin. She co-wrote and performed in the hit play, Swing, which toured both nationally and internationally between 2013 and 2016 and was published by Bloomsbury in 2015. She wrote and directed A Holy Show, which played at the Peacock Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe before transferring to Edinburgh Fringe, CCI Paris and completing an Irish national tour in 2020. A Holy Show was also adapted for RTE Radio Drama on One. In 2019 she directed My Romantic History at the Viking Theatre for Verdant productions. In 2020 she co-wrote and directed Looking for América, which played at the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe, 2021. In October 2021 her new play, Quake, had a development showing as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. Pure Mental, which she co-wrote and directed, will tour Ireland when the pandemic permits. Janet is a participant of the 2021 Six in the Attic programme at the Irish Theatre Institute.

Selected acting work includes Ulysses, The Plough and the Stars (Lyric Hammersmith and Abbey), Juno and the Paycock (National Theatre, London/Abbey Theatre co-production), Translations, No Romance at the Abbey Theatre; Car Show, Dublin by Lamplight, Everyday, Freefall and Desire under The Elms for The Corn Exchange Theatre Company.

Andrew Synnott is a Dublin-based composer, arranger, conductor and pianist. As a boy he was awarded a scholarship to the Schola Cantorum in St Finian’s College in Mullingar and from there he went on to become organ scholar in the Pro-cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral while studying Music at Trinity College Dublin. He has conducted for Irish National Opera (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Wexford Festival Opera (Dubliners, Le Docteur Miracle), Opera Theatre Company (The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Il mondo della luna, Orfeo [Alcorn], Bastien and Bastienne, Xerxes, Acis and Galatea, Diary of Anne Frank, Orfeo [Monteverdi], La Voix Humaine, Dubliners, among others); for Co-Opera, Glasthule Opera, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. His arrangements of La bohème, Susanna’s Secret and The Magic Flute have toured extensively in Ireland and the UK. He has conducted and been musical director for opera productions at the Buxton Opera Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and in Australia, Portugal and France.

Andrew is a former Artistic Director and conductor of Crash Ensemble, a group he co-founded in 1997. He has conducted many orchestras and choirs, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra and National Chamber Choir of Ireland. In 2015 he conducted the premiere of his first opera, Breakdown, in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. His second opera, Dubliners, was premiered at Wexford Festival Opera in 2017 and was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award in the Best Opera category. His opera, La cucina, became the first opera by a living Irish composer to be premiered on the main stage at Wexford Festival Opera, 2019. His opera, What Happened To Lucrece, was filmed and broadcast digitally as part of Wexford Festival Opera, 2020. He holds a PhD in composition from Dublin’s Conservatory of Music and Drama.

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandInstituto Italiano di Cultura DublinoThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College DublinInstituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino

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