The Penelopiad

Photograph of Jonathan Holby - Fight Director

Jonathan Holby

Jonathan is Fight Director on The Penelopiad at York Theatre Royal.

From the author of the modern feminist classic The Handmaid’s Tale and 2019’s literary phenomenon The Testaments, comes a powerful retelling of one of our oldest stories and myths.

As portrayed in Homer’s Odyssey, Penelope – wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy – has become a symbol of wifely duty and devotion, enduring twenty years of waiting after her husband goes to fight the Trojan War. As she fends off the attentions of a
hundred greedy suitors – aided and abetted by her 12 maids – travelling minstrels tell her news of Odysseus’ epic adventures slaying monsters and bedding goddesses. But when Odysseus returns home, he’s not done with the killing.

Now Booker Prize-winner Margaret Atwood gives voice to Penelope, as she wanders the underworld spinning a different kind of thread: her own side of the story – a tale of lust, greed and murder.

Adapted for the stage by Atwood herself from her own wry and witty novel, our new production will feature an all-female cast directed by Juliet Forster (A View From The
Bridge, A Midsummer Night’s Dream).