Edinburgh Fringe On-Demand – Friday 6th – Monday 30th August 2021
Ithaca is an autobiographical feminist one-woman adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey from writer and performer Phoebe Angeni. Exploring contemporary social issues, Ithaca follows the journey of Nobody, a feminine aspect of Odysseus, as she re-defines her relationship with self and home. Fantasy and reality merge in this new dynamic and darkly comic production about Nobody’s journey to find home while creating space and a voice for herself within a world and body, which seem to forcefully reject her.
Ithaca is a stage-for-screen production where black box theatre meets experimental film.
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While the play draws heavily from Homer’s work, Angeni has taken its broad themes and used them to tell her own story, which has always related to the obstacles Odysseus faces. By playing a female version of Odysseus as well as embodying the invisible monsters, she is able to represent her authentic experience and place the fuller figured female body in a position of heroism.
Through the lens of an unconventional heroine, Ithaca examines crucial social issues such as fatphobia, bullying, domestic harassment, mental health, chronic illness and immigration.
Sadly these are all things Angeni has experienced herself having had to go to court to get a lifetime restraining order for domestic harassment against her biological father, her experience of immigration difficulties between the UK and US and her anxiety issues and depression no doubt exacerbated by her class at school forming the ‘I Hate Fat Phoebe’ club. Angeni has been able to move through her traumas and aims for this work to be a positive portrayal of what is possible when you overcome obstacles!
Writer and performer Phoebe Angeni comments, No one expects a certain type of woman to play a Classical male role like Odysseus, much less 14 Homeric characters within an hour, so the possibilities for this show have been limitless. My aim with Ithaca is to not only create something innovative and thought-provoking, but to raise awareness for important and often invisible social issues – to spark hope, connect, and empower fellow unconventional heroines to show up in life authentically and to advocate for themselves.
Running alongside Ithaca will be four post-show talks dealing with the issues in the production and offering further resources for support. 10% of ticket sales will be donated to Women’s Aid and The Loveland Foundation in order to help affect positive change for women and children’s safety and support valuable work around mental health.