The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead by Simon Armitage

This play superficially seems to be an enjoyable fusion of The Thick of It and The Odyssey. However, a close study of the text shows a degree of unpleasantness behind the liberal philosophy and the classical references. The comedy appears to have a brittle edge and the digressions about contemporary international politics carry a subtle menace.

The dark side of the text seems to be inherent in the assumptions made about Turkey and the Arab League. While English hooliganism is denounced, an Orientalist fear seems to lurk behind the lines of the play.

There is something quintessentially English about the text. This is evident in the pervasive idea of the threat of barbarism within and without. It would have been nice if the great thinker Edward Said had lived to analyse this odd, ill-timed and unnecessary concoction.

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