Hector Beyond The Gates, part of the Homer Prepares performance sequence, is written and performed by classicist and theatre director James McCaughey.
In collaboration with percussionist Matthew Horsley, James McCaughey imagines an island on the Aegean to which people have come “from all the islands, the coast cities beyond”. They have come for a twelve day festival, to hear the singing of a great new song, a performance every afternoon, another in the evening.
The Iliad. Each of the twenty four books in the Iliad reflects a free-standing performance in its own right. Through the cumulative impression of all twenty four of these performances, a complex world comes into being. As the audience listens to each of these shorter performances, the Iliad emerges, and comes to life in all its diversity and urgency. Homer Prepares catches Homer at the moment when he prepares himself for each day’s new performance, reflecting on the options before him. This process segues into a performance of the episode itself.
So far, James and Matthew have performed books one to six of the Iliad in three performance cycles. Now, Hector Beyond The Gates brings this project to books seven to twelve. Hector, the greatest hero of the Trojans, goes out from the city to take the fight to the Greeks. We go with him, until he breaks through another wall. The wall protecting the Greek ships.