The Story of The Odyssey

Here is a brief summary of the first part of 'The Odyssey - an Epic Adventure on the Yorkshire Coast'

We'll be using this story as the framework for a number of live and digital events in the coming months, and this is where they fit in:
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The ancient Gods and Goddesses of Olympus find themselves in a world where humankind has almost forgotten them. To restore their powers of old they must intervene, as Zeus yearns for dominion once again.
To launch the beginning of our story, we toured the installation 'Lighting up the Coast' (see video on The Odyssey page). We were thrilled to meet over 1,200 people in a safe yet beautiful environment to talk about the project and some of what to expect as the tale unfolds.

We have also been working with storytellers, performers and musicians along the length of the coast to produce a free geolocation version of the story, which you can listen to in coastal locations on your smartphone with the Echoes Interactive Walks app.
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Thetis, daughter of Poseidon is forced to marry a mortal king. But an uninvited guest throws the Olympian Gods into disarray with the unexpected gift of a magical apple…
In addition to the geolocation, we have also been working with business owners and residents to tell the story as part of an online video. The filming will be taking place throughout the year, with the first episode expected in November.
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Thetis has a son, Achilles. Although he is blessed with the powers of the Gods, his life is due to end beneath the walls of a distant city.

To protect him, Thetis takes drastic action, but she inadvertently makes the slightest of mistakes that spells his future doom.
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As Achilles grows to be a powerful warrior, another prince is born.

Paris of Troy. The prophets say that he will burn their city to the ground so he is left in the wild for dead.

But he is found and raised by strangers, until the day of his destiny is at hand…
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Paris seeks to find the truth about his parents, and so sets off for the city of Troy.

But he is waylaid by the Olympian Gods. Zeus wants him to decide which Goddess should receive the magical apple; and his decision will tear his world apart.
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Helen, princess of Sparta is destined to marry for power and politics.

But the young King Odysseus suggests that she should be the one to choose her own husband for love.

She chooses the older but wiser Menelaus, brother to the all powerful Agamemnon, who makes every ruler swear to protect the marriage with his life.

But Aphrodite, Goddess of love, has other plans.
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Keep an eye on Yorkshire's beaches over the coming year for signs of large scale beach art representing characters from our story. Here was 'Helen - the face that launched a thousand ships' from April 2021

At the moment these artworks are appearing unexpectedly in different locations, but as restrictions ease we will be looking to publicise creative events on the beaches as part of our larger events.
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Paris of Troy travels to Sparta on Aphrodite's instructions.

His actions trigger the start of the Trojan Wars, as Agamemnon raises a fleet of a thousand ships to sail in search of Helen.

If you'd like to hear the story in full, told by a wonderful cast of storytellers, performers and musicians from the Yorkshire Coast, then take a look at our geolocation story, which is free to download and listen to in a number of coastal locations.

Look out for episode two of the story - 'The Trojan Wars' in the autumn.
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'A Thousand Ships' was a touring exhibition of a thousand paper ships created by people along the length of the Yorkshire Coast. We launched this project during the last lockdown and the response was absolutely phenomenal!

The ships were displayed together with an accompanying soundtrack of residents sharing what they love about the Yorkshire coast.
And this is just the beginning…

The next instalment of our tale - 'The Survivor' - a giant puppet will be touring the coast in April and May; and look out for a world record attempt as we start to build the Trojan horse on the Yorkshire Coast in the summer months…

'The Odyssey' is a Yorkshire Coast BID project
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