Bacchae: Euripides

Bacchae: Euripides

★★★★

(Actors of Dionysus at Osterley Park, 29 July 2016)

In November 2000, when I was fifteen years old, my parents took me to see my first Greek tragedy. It was Bacchae, performed in the QEH theatre in Bristol by the touring company the Actors of Dionysus. I was utterly captivated: by the story; by the simplicity; by Tamsin Shasha’s sexy, dangerous Dionysus; and by the translation. Ever since I’ve been hunting down a translation which begins with that same commanding cry: ‘Thebes! Thebes! First city of Greece! I have come back…‘ So when I heard that, sixteen years later, the company were performing Bacchae again, in an open-air production in the grounds of the National Trust’s Osterley Park, I absolutely had to go.

Continue reading

Bacchae: Euripides

Euripides: Bacchae

★★★½

(The UCL Classical Play; directed by Emily Louizou, at the British Museum, 20 July 2015)

Bacchae was the first classical play that I saw, way back in 2000, and it’s still my favourite. When I heard that UCL Classics students were performing the play on Thursday night at a British Museum Members’ Evening (sold out), and there was a free dress rehearsal on the Monday, I jumped at the chance to attend. Performed in an English translation by James Morwood, this was a promenade performance, unfolding amid the columns, steps and statues of the Museum’s Great Court.

Continue reading