Theater

Performance

THE LINGERING NOW | O Agora que demora | Our Odyssey II

Based on Homer’s The Odyssey Directed by Christiane Jatahy

Belgium | Brazil | France

  • Arabic, Kurdish, Greek, English, French, Portuguese, Zulu and Kayapo with Spanish subtitles
  • 120 minutes
  • General Audience

Advertencia All ages

This renowned Brazilian director multiplies the characters in Homer’s The Odyssey to explore the battles that exiles, refugees, migrants and the displaced face today.


What can a story written 3,000 years ago tell us about life in the twenty-first century? It takes Ulysses years to get home after the Trojan War; Penelope, his wife, defends Ithaca from invaders and Telemachus, his son, is looking for his lost father. All these stories apply to the people today who have to leave their countries for somewhere safer. The Lingering Now - the third part of a trilogy named Our Odyssey by Brazilian Christiane Jatahy - fuses film and theater to break down the barriers between fiction and reality, telling stories of refugees, migrants and the displaced from Palestine, Lebanon, Greece, South Africa, the Amazon and Rio de Janeiro. Each of the characters recites verses from Homer’s The Odyssey, adding a real dimension to the story. This is a production by the National Wallonie Creation Studio National Theater in Brussels, Belgium with the SESC in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is coproduced by the Teatro a Mil Foundation, among others.

Creator, staging and film director: Christiane Jatahy, based on Homer’s The Odyssey| Artistic collaboration, set designer and lights: Thomas Walgrave | Collaboration and company management: Henrique Mariano | Photography director: Paulo Camacho | Sound: Alex Fostier | Music: Vitor Araújo and Domenico Lancelotti | Cast: Faisal Abu Alhayjaa, Manuela Afonso, Abed Aidy, Omar Al Jbaai, Abbas Abdulelah Al'Shukra, Maroine Amimi, Vitor Araújo, Bepkapoy, Joseph Gaylard, Noji Gaylard, Renata Hardy, Ramyar Hussaini, Iketi Kayapó, Irengri Kayapó, Ojo Kayapó, Laerte Késsimos, Kroti, Yara Ktaish, Pitchou Lambo, Abdul Lanjesi, Mélina Martin, Jovial Mbenga, Nambulelo Meolongwara, Linda Michael Mkhwanasi, Mbali Ncube, Pravinah Nehwati, Ibrahim Nghnghia, Maria Laura Nogueira, Jehad Obeid, Ranin Odeh, Blessing Opoko, Phana, Pykatire, Corina Sabbas, Leon David Salazar, Mustafa Sheta, Frank Sithole, Fepa Teixeira, Ivan Tirtiaux, Ahmed Tobasi | Local performers: Camila Laso Nazzal, Diana Peñalver | A Wallonie National Theater Studio (Brussels, Belgium) and SESC (Sao Paolo, Brazil) creation. Coproduced by: Festival d’Avignon (Avignon/France), Ruhrtriennale (Germany), Comédie de Genève (Geneva/Switzerland), Odeon European Theater (Paris/France), São Luiz National Theater (Lisbon/Portugal), Le Maillon Théâtre in Strasbourg (European scene) (Strasbourg, France), Temporada Alta Festival (Girona, Spain), Santiago a Mil Festival (Santiago, Chile PLEASE NOTE, THIS ISN’T IN THE CONTENTS), Riksteatern (Sweden). With support from: The Freedom Theatre (Palestine) and the Outreach Foundation (South Africa).

“For those who attend (the audience), it’s an experience that’ll bring them face-to-face with a certain vision of the world and their place in it”.

—Le Monde

The Lingering Now is in another category altogether, of original, urgent, loving, self-disciplined theatrical genius”.

—The Guardian

“This acclaimed play defuses the political discourse that suggests foreigners are intruders”.

—El País, Spain

It’s a play with a powerful political and social message about people’s experiences of immigration and displacement in today’s world. Its premiere was very much aligned with this issue: The Lingering Now was performed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during the first few months of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency, in the midst of protests about his administration. “It’s Shakespearean”, said Christiane Jatahy in an interview with Le Monde about the country’s situation.

It’s been one of the European circuit’s most acclaimed pieces of 2019. At the Festival d’Avignon, where it was performed last July, critics called it a much-needed and relevant production. “The Lingering Now has received lots of write-ups: it’s had amazing reviews in the French specialist media”, says Paris Match. Critic Andrew Todd from The Guardian gave it five out of five: “This extraordinary, vital, funny, deeply moving show allows us to feel that we all, to some degree, share her fear”.

—Its special format blurs the boundaries between theater and cinema, taking the audience on a journey that they themselves get involved in. The show suggests that immigrants, the displaced and refugees are just like the rest of us; they could even be one of the people sitting next to us during the performance. Christiane Jatahy has said that, in The Lingering Now, the limits between fiction and reality are tampered with, since the people who appear in the video projections are actually actors, but actors who in real life have had to leave their countries and have been persecuted for their beliefs.

—The Odyssey: This is an epic Greek poem from 7AD written by the poet Homer. It’s made up of 24 books and tells the story of the journey home of hero Odysseus (also known as Ulysses) after fighting in the Trojan War. It takes him two decades to return to the island of Ithaca, where he was king. Penelope, his wife, is waiting for him, dealing with suitors who assume Ulysses is dead and want to take his crown and Telemachus, his son, who decides to go in search of him. It’s considered as one of the founding texts of western literature.

—Ithaca: This is the name of the first piece in Christiane Jatahy’s Our Odyssey project. Like

The Lingering Now, it also links current affairs, territories in conflict and refugees to the Homer’s historical story, by multiplying the characters of Penelope and her suitors. In The Odyssey, Ithaca is the island where Ulysses lives.

—Festival d’Avignon: Started in 1947 in the city of the same name, today it’s the most important performing arts event in France and one of the most attended and most important ones in Europe.

Teaser of The Lingering Now on Vimeo

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