The Iliad Out Loud

  • Adapted and abridged by William Zappa,
  • Paperback
  • Phoenix
  • 01/02/2024
  • ISBN: 9781925169447

RRP: $29.95 (Inc. GST)


A new rendition adapted and abridged after Homer from 17 translations
by William Zappa

The Iliad Out Loud is a new rendition of the Iliad, written by Homer around the Eighth Century BC. Towards the end of the Trojan Wars. This new version draws on 17 translations of Homer’s original.

The Iliad is not only one of the oldest works in the Western literary tradition, it is one of the greatest. In this version the Iliad is made accessible for individual reading or group reading as any play would be.

This version represents approximately half the complete poem of 24 books but omitted books or sections have been replaced by linking narrative and explanation.

“Despite all its concern with the battlefield, the Iliad is a work of great emotional truth, set in a context of war. William Zappa conveys all that emotional truth with a rare
combination of literary talent and performance skill. He has brought an Australian voice to this great story… This is an Iliad for Australian audiences — our first Iliad.”
Elizabeth Minchin,
Professor Emeritus ANU

“Zappa’s Iliad retains the spirit and force of the original; and this is all the more impressive because this is a poetic translation… Homer’s poem is raw and visceral, by turns confronting and humorous. Zappa’s translation is refreshing in as much as it manages to capture this: the tales roll along at a rollicking pace, transporting the reader into the world of Homer’s heroes.”
Dr. Reuben Ramsey,
The University of Newcastle, Australia

About this script

This version of Homer’s Iliad is the ‘performance’ script (The Iliad – Out Loud) as presented at The Sydney Festival, 2019, the Adelaide Festival, 2020 and the Four Winds Festival 2021. It represents about half of the actual poem but includes – as in the performance – descriptions of the omitted books and sections.

The Iliad – Out Loud, in performance, was for four actors (two women, two men) and two musicians – percussion and Oud/Tar. The text was divided between the four actors in such a way as to allow the actors to share the roles. It was also presented with text in hand, i.e. the story was ‘read’ and was choreographed in such a way as to lift it above a simple ‘staged reading.’

The performance script with character allocation is also available, but in this ‘schools’ version the allocation of roles is left to the teacher to decide as they would with any play.

About the author

William Zappa is an actor, playwright, poet and director. In a career that has spanned more than fifty years he has played leading roles with most of Australia’s major theatre companies. His career includes many guest roles in TV and film and he has been nominated and won several awards for his work as an actor.

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