With a fresh war now upon us, Kings, a play now running in Midtown Manhattan that is a rendering of some episodes from the Iliad is both timeless and timely. Kings is an installment of the English poet Christopher Logue’s “account” of Homer’s greatest work, an extraordinary—and quite remarkable—project that has been going on for more than forty years.
I saw War Music, another segment of the same account, a decade ago, and wrote it up for NRO here. Kings covers different ground, and on this occasion, all the characters are played by two men rather than three women. Just as before, however, the spare, stark and gripping production is marvelously acted and, above all, dedicated to Logue’s captivating, almost cinematic verse:
Picture the east Aegean sea by night
And in an open bay before that sea
Upwards of 30,000 men
Asleep like spoons among their fatal ships.
Kings runs until April 3rd.