Polyphemus is a Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, and as with many giants, he enjoys devouring people. He’s not very bright, but stands as tall as thirteen men on one another’s shoulders and so has a long reach when he grabs at something. His voice is low, like word thunder, and he’s quick to anger. And so when Odysseus and his 24 men appear unexpectedly in the Cyclops’ cave after a long day tending his flocks, Polyphemus roars his fury, shoves a giant boulder into the exit and snatches up two men, popping off their heads and eating them.
Horrible as it sounds, of all the characters I enact when I perform The Odyssey, Polyphemus is probably the most fun. My right eye shuts, leaving only the left one open, and I’ve been told my face contorts into something truly ugly once he shows up in the story.
Along with the 12-string guitar score that races along during these grisly scenes, his voice and actions make for a crazy combination of stimuli. Intense enough, I hope, to become cinematic for listeners.
I’ll be performing large sections of The Odyssey Saturday night, July 27, 2019 at 8 pm at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH. It’s a great venue with excellent sound and intimate seating, not to mention delicious food.
Just try to be done eating by the time Polyphemus snacks on the humans!
Odds Bodkin’s The Odyssey
July 27th at 8 pm
The Riverwalk Music Bar, Nashua, NH
$13 in advance, $15 at the door