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Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century$
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Fiona Macintosh, Justine McConnell, Stephen Harrison, and Claire Kenward

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198804215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198804215.001.0001

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Performing Walcott, Performing Homer

Performing Walcott, Performing Homer

Omeros on Stage and Screen

(p.404) 28 Performing Walcott, Performing Homer
Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century

Justine McConnell

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores three performances of Derek Walcott’s epic poem, Omeros. The first was never realized, but can be traced in the draft scripts and storyboards that Walcott penned for a film of Omeros; the second was adapted and directed by Bill Buckhurst, and staged at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in London in 2014 and 2015; the third is the artist Isaac Julien’s filmic installation piece, Paradise Omeros (2002). Each of these reworks Walcott’s poem for performance in ways that reflect on the multiple oral traditions from which his poem draws, as well as on the intervening appropriation of those spoken forms into literary texts.

Keywords:   Derek Walcott, Omeros, Isaac Julien, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, orality, colonialism, Homer, film

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