Festival that launched a thousand ships

first_imgIt’s been coming together for nearly two years, but the finished product is now upon us. The Oxford Greek Festival, brainchild of Avery Willis (DPhil in Classics at Balliol), starts on the 5 May, and there won’t be a moment’s respite from all things Greek, whether Classical or Modern. Consisting of plays, lectures, an exhibition, poetry, a debate and children’s events, the Festival promises to have something for everyone. Most prominent amongst its productions is Euripides’ Trojan Women, staged at the Playhouse from the 5-8 May (Wednesday-Saturday, 2nd week). Considered one of the most effective anti-war plays ever written, it features some of Euripides’ most heart-rending and harrowing scenes. The production gives the play a new interpretation with its Indo-African costumes, music and choreography; by this it is immediately set apart from what one expects. If the play’s review in last week’s edition of the Cherwell is to be believed, you should book tickets for this one straight away. If you want to hear a talk about the play, there are several, each one examining a different angle; check the website for times. Other plays include The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pigat the Old Fire Station, and The Shield at the Burton-Taylor in third week. As its name proclaims, Three Little Wolves turn a well-known fairytale on its head, with hilarious consequences. Kids and adults alike can enjoy watching abused turn abuser. The Shield is another comedy, translated from Menander’s play, which is not known to have been performed in English before. On Sunday 9 (3rd week) at 2.30 at the Oxford Union there are events concerning the long-running but newly-revived saga of the Elgin Marbles. First is Parthenon Lost, written by Constantine Sandis. It takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, and will explore the questions surrounding the contentious issue, central to which is “Should we return them?” After that is a debate on the Marbles, in which Boris Johnson MP and Brian Sewell will take part. Don’t miss the virtual reassembly of the Parthenon Marbles, which will be there too. Further one-off events include a mask workshop at the Playhouse (4pm, 7 May), exploring the use of the mask in Greek performance. Despite the promising name, there probably won’t be any making and decorating of masks, just in case the primary school student in you was hoping. The Iliadis being performed at New College (8pm, 10 May) but without a cast of thousands – try two men in US-based Curio Productions’ adaptation. This is but a taster however, there’s lots more – visit www.oxfordgreekfestival.com for details on everything that’s going on.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004last_img read more

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