Review: ‘The Changing of the Guard’

Review of ‘Changing of the Guard’, a new play by Shomit Dutta based loosely on the Odyssey.

The Oxford Culture Review

The Changing of the Guard is a Classical epic turned inside out. A new play by Shomit Dutta, it imagines what might have happened when Odysseus broke into Troy, disguised as a beggar. Originally an episode mentioned only obliquely by Helen in Book IV of the Odyssey, Dutta has expanded it to be a sometimes poignant, and always witty, meditation on fate and human agency. This week saw its premiere at the Keble O’Reilly Theatre, directed by Iqbal Khan. Given that the cast had only a week of rehearsals, the quality of production and performance was remarkable. Unfortunately it did mean that the play was rendered without its final act, but in many ways I felt that this contributed to its overall effect. In the format presented last Wednesday, The Changing of the Guard was a delightful and unexpectedly quirky take on both the Odyssey itself, and…

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