Rewriting the Odyssey (as a musical, for a brothel)

I read this in middle school. Also, the Iliad.

Image from

You know The Odyssey? Homer’s one big novel from the ancient Greek days?

No, it’s not the one with the guy who loves his mama a bit too much. It’s the one with the guy who goes on a seven seas adventure.

While he’s gone, a bunch of jerks declare him KIA and make a move on his wife.

She’s all, “Yeah…no.”

Eventually, he comes back from doing cool things (e.g., walking on gold-paved streets, hanging out with mermaids, etc), and his family are super-thrilled that he’s come back to take care of them. Also, there’s a thing with a cyclops and a sheep (which sometimes gets attributed to Sinbad, but let’s forget about that, okay?)

Why the empty eye sockets? Why?

He’s so handsome! (Image from Wikipedia.)

Everybody wins!. Oddy had a good time in the world, and now he gets to be Big Man on the Homestead. Penny doesn’t have to deal with the jerks anymore.

Well, everyone wins except the suitors anyway.

I bring this up because I want to tell you about the awesome version of The Odyssey which I made up for Hive & Heist and which will probably never make it into the final draft. (I keep trying to shoehorn in all my awesome details, and keep failing.)

Quick context: A space station brothel is performing the play. The actress playing Penelope (Odysseus’ wife) is a professional dominatrix, and wants to show off her whip skills. Also, it’s a musical.


You can buy this very whip from Western Stage Props.

Here’s what I know about The Odyssey as performed by the Cleopatra’s Palace Brothel Revue.

To start with, it’s more about Penelope than the big O. (Errr, couldn’t resist a brothel entendre. There may be more of them in this post.)

Penny’s all alone, see? And her hubby’s been declared dead, and there’s all these creepy guys in her house being like, “You could marry me now, y’know” and “I know how to take care of the sheep in the pasture behind your house” and “You’re so prettyyyyy **drool**.”

And she’s all, “Leave me alone.”

And they’re like, “We’ll see you again tomorrow.”

(Meanwhile, Odysseus does something that makes him get shirtless because that actor is a brothel courtesan too. I don’t know. Maybe he fights a hydra and sings a song about missing his awesome wife. Hercules can spare him a hydra.)

9 heads? The better to kill you with!

Hercules fights the Hydra. On display at the Getty. (Image from Wikipedia.)

Back in Ithaca, the suitors have returned, and Penny’s like, “Ugh, not again.” And her suitors are all, “You have such lovely possessions. I think I’ll take one. How much did you actually like this mirror?”

They abscond with her stuff. Grrrr. She sings about how her Odysseus was such a great guy and she wishes she could just turn back the clock and have him home again.

Another day, another group of suitors stealing Penny’s stuff. She’s totally peeved and gets a chance to sing about it. I’ve written lyrics for this one. My fave part is when she itemizes what the annoying leeches stole:


Image from Wikipedia.

Tiresias took a ledger
That I bought dirt cheap.
Aeschylus, a mirror,
But Terrence a SHEEP!

At this point Penny pulls out her whip (dominatrix actress, remember) and forces all the jerks out of her house at leather-point.

Soon after, Odysseus finally washes up on Ithaca’s shores. As in the original, he pretends to be someone else. (This is a lot like going to your own funeral to see what people say about you.) Unlike in the original, Penny’s had it up to HERE with potential suitors, and she whips him away from her along with all the rest.

But he throws off his disguise (which was something lame, like a cloak) to reveal his washboard abs (which she hells yes recognizes). They fall into each other’s arms, and Odysseus sings praises to her for keeping their house in such great shape and also for her amazing whip skills. He’s basically ready to retire from everything after the trauma (I mean, adventure) he’s been forced to endure, and wants to relax and not have to worry anymore.

They live Happily Ever After in a dom/sub relationship where Penny deals with everything (from the house to their sexual pleasure) and no one on the island really believes that could be true. (So Oddy is her enforcer, looking all tough but just doing what she tells him to.) The final number makes liberal use of her whip’s sonic properties.

The End


File under: Things That Probably Won’t Make the Final Draft

One Response to Rewriting the Odyssey (as a musical, for a brothel)
  1. Miriah Hetherington
    April 25, 2014 | 11:09 pm

    Janine, this is hilarious! Best version of the Odyssey I’ve seen so far ^_^

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Janine A. Southard is a Writer & Editor for narrative projects. She's a proven talent when it comes to mimicking voices and crafting content for videogames, articles, & fiction.