Warwick Classics Ancient Drama Festival

Friday 30th January 2015

On Tuesday 27 January, L6 Classics students participated in a trip to Warwick University. Alice Brazil provides us with a review of the day below:

“It was a hugely enjoyable day and helped me to see another person’s perspective on what we have been learning in lessons.”

We set off to Warwick University at 9.00am ready for a long but enjoyable day. When we arrived we went to the Arts Centre, for an introductory talk about the Ancient Theatre; this was a great way to start the day as it set the foundations for the rest of the trip.

Next we had an introduction to Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusae, given by Mr Letchford. This was another very interesting talk, as it offered those on the trip who were unsure of the play a brief guide to what we were going to be seeing later, what it was about and the background of why and when this play would have been performed.

After these two introductory talks, we were escorted to our first lecture on ‘The Phallus in Comedy’ taken by Dr Orrells. This was a very amusing talk, however it was very educational as we were allowed to look at various vases and statues depicting males undertaking some day-to-day activities and some in comedy. This showed us the difference between the ideal ancient man’s physique and the modern day ideal body image for a male. The final picture that we studied was a portrayal of a scene from the Thesmophoriazusae; although we had seen this image before in class it was helpful to get an external view on the painting.

Subsequently, we had a lecture on ‘Women’s Place in the Ancient World’. This was an incredibly intriguing talk, even though it was a recap of the information we had been talking about in lessons. It was useful to solidify the area of Classics that we have studied so far, and to hear a few new ideas. Towards the end of this lecture, we were allowed to ask questions which provoked and surfaced interesting thoughts for all who were listening.

Lastly, after our lunch hour, we headed back to the Arts Centre to watch a performance of the Thesmophoriazusae. When we went to our seats, Meg Christmas, who was playing Echo, and various other cast members were walking around the auditorium in character. There was a very repetitive dance performed by the Chorus members on stage. The performance in general was extremely hilarious. However, the production contained explicit language, with a lot of tongue in cheek moments. Personally I thought that the performance was brought up to date very successfully, including jokes such as Greece borrowing money from Germany and other political humour regarding UKIP.

“The play was brought to life incredibly well!”

Finally, we arrived back to school at 7.00pm, however the journey home was also a highlight.