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“An Iliad” review – WyoToday.com

LANDER – This week’s performance at the Carnegie Room at the Lander Library is a familiar story brought to you in a new, fun, personal way and is entirely worth whatever it costs for you to attend during their four-day run in Fremont County. 

“An Iliad” is a classic tale of war, revenge, love and pain brought in a fireside chat type of context with an extremely knowledgeable storyteller, played by Anne Mason, who is torn between sharing the story once again and reliving the heartbreaking tale for what seems to be the hundredth time.

The play is brought to life by the Communal Pancake Performing Arts and Relative Theatrics, bringing the chronicle of Troy, Achilles, Hector and the rest of the famous story that people around the world have heard and seen before. The biggest difference between those retellings and this one is the contemporary and modern take on a small stage, reminiscent of a parent telling their child a bedtime story … only this story is a little more adult, and is told by a drunken narrator. 

Emotions run high by the end of the story, especially when the tale is given through the tequila bottle chugging raconteur, and mirrors the way that stories used to be told around a fire before civilization brought us television and hardbound books. 

The one-person show has moments where the story goes off the rails, listing off war after war that were all sparked by the story of Troy and the Trojan Horse, but Mason’s character keeps the audience on their toes with animated motions and emotional parts that bring today’s real world issues into the context of war in Homer’s famous epic. 

By the end of the 100-minute show the audience is not only more well-informed about the consequences of war, but they also feel more connected to the story than they ever have before thanks to the masterful storytelling by Mason and the ways she brings the audience in and out of the Grecian war with Troy over Helen. Not only that, the heavy anti-war feeling from the entire play can be felt in the tense air that sits over the audience for the bulk of the showing.

The lighting, sound, and overall feel that is brought by the small set at the Carnegie Hall is a much more personal way of hearing a famous tale. The audience is part of the story with every passing moment, and the way that Mason and the crew at Lander Library present the story of Achilles and Hector’s war will bring laughs, tears and every emotion in between. 

Be sure to check out the show at the rest of their showings, January 19-21 at 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Room at the Lander Library. You can get tickets for anywhere from $0 to $15 online at www.communalpancake.com/tickets.

Review by Shawn O’Brate


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