The Greek myth is brought up to date with an immersive theater performance taking place at Dido’s Bar at the Staggeringly Good Brewery in Portsmouth

Every night, divine bar managers Juno and Venus welcome world-class artists to their stage, and around their performances the drama unfolds.

The work is inspired by director Josephine Burton’s encounter with Iranian Kurdish refugee and now Finnish resident, composer Marouf Majidi and is written by Hattie Naylor.

Art Reach, the producers of Journeys Festival International (JFI), have teamed up with Dash Arts to host an evening of theater and live music at the Staggeringly Good Brewery in Milton, Portsmouth on October 22-23.

Dido’s Bar, by Dash Arts with Art Reach, is at The Staggeringly Good Brewery in Portsmouth on 22-23 October 2022. Photo by Ali Wright

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Joséphine, artistic director of Dash, says: “The ancient myth of Aeneas, a refugee from the war-torn Orient who travels across the Mediterranean to seek refuge and build a new home in Europe, is truly a tale for our era.

“We bring it full speed into the present – ​​setting the drama in a music club on the outskirts of town, where the heroes of yesteryear are now the big music stars of today, with a little more jazz and world music!”

Audiences can look forward to an evening of sumptuous music and electrifying storytelling as Dido’s Bar owners Juno and Venus invite you to listen to their latest musical discoveries alongside their regular favourites.

Actors and musicians will greet the audience and invite them for a drink at the bar and offer visas, places to stay and work as part of the interactive performance. All of the drama in the production takes place in and around the bar audience.

Jon Chapman, co-owner of the brewery, explains: “We are delighted to welcome this to Staggeringly Good Brewery, it is a perfect fit for our venue and we are always keen to try new and exciting events at the brewery too.

“The way the audience is surrounded and part of the performance will be amazing, it will be a fantastic evening.”

It takes a fresh approach for the team behind JFI who have held a festival-style event in Portsmouth every year since 2016. Over the years the festival has used live music at St Mary’s Church, huge exhibitions outdoor art shows, movie nights, immersive gallery events. and a wide range of live performances to raise awareness of the migration crisis and provide a platform for artists from backgrounds seeking refuge.