To conclude the season on the theatre of Rome this episode imagines a resident of the city in 54BCE, recounting in a letter to a sick friend, a day spent travelling to the theatre of Pompey and the time spent there.
The Brothers, dated to 160 BCE, is Terence’s last surviving work. We have that date exactly because the play is recorded as being presented at the games held to honour the Roman general Lucius Aemillus Paullus.
The first presentation of the play and who was Lucius Aemillus Paullus?
The prologue to the play and Terence’s defence of his use of Greek plays to create a new piece.
A synopsys of the play
The Brothers as a play of ideas and a discussion of it’s main themes about the best way to raise sons.
The external influences in an expanding Roman Republic and how they influence […]
A look at ‘The Self Tormenter’ by Terrence. Written in 162 or 163 BCE this is the story of disagreements between fathers and sons over the choice of women and how a clever slave almost wins the day.
A synopsis of the pay with some comments about the Prologue, the action of the play and the general style.
The way Terence changes the standard stock characters and makes them more rounded characters than anything we have seen before, including how the portrayal of the clever slave and the courtesan are more subtle than in previous plays.
The life and time of Plautus, the first Roman Playwright from whom we have surviving works. After a hard start he became the most popular of the Roman playwrights churning out comedy after comedy.
This episode looks at his life story and playwriting career.
Then there is a brief summary of his six most significant plays and a discussion of the role of the courtesan character in the plays, including how this reflects the reality of life for women and prostitutes in Roman society.
A note on the lack of political commentary in the plays leads on to a look at how […]
An interview with theatre director Jimmy Walters about his 20217 production of Trackers of Oxyrhynchus by Tony Harrison. This version of the Satyr play ‘Trackers’ by Sophocles was originally performed by the National Theatre in 1988. Jimmy’s revival in 2017 was at the Finborough Theatre in west London.
In conversation we discussed the approach to the play and the way the adaptation by Tony Harrison put current social concerns at the heart of the play, which still remained true to many aspects of the original Greek play.
Jimmy Walters’ credits include productions of John Osborne’s A Subject […]
An interview with Dr Elodie Paillard discussing her work on the non-elite characters in the plays of Sophocles and what they tell us about changes in athenian society in the 5th Century BCE.
Dr Paillard is Honorary Associate in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney and lecturer and scientific collaborator in the Department of Ancient Civilizations at the University of Basel. She is currently leading a research project on Greek theatre in Roman Italy, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She is the author of ‘The Stage and the City. Non-élite Characters in the […]
An interview with Dr Elodie Paillard discussing the development of Roman theatre and the extent to which it developed out of Greek theatre.
Dr Paillard is Honorary Associate in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney and lecturer and scientific collaborator in the Department of Ancient Civilizations at the University of Basel. She is currently leading a research project on Greek theatre in Roman Italy, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She is the author of ‘The Stage and the City. Non-élite Characters in the Tragedies of Sophocles’ (Paris 2017).
Theatre buildings in Rome developed over the long period of time from the Etruscan Period and through the republican period, but throughout they were temporary structures albeit on an ever grander scale. In this episode we trace the development and look at the political and social forces in Rome that kept theatre mobile and temporary.
In the second part of the introduction to the theatre of Rome the Greek influence becomes more obvious and we start to get some details about the playwrights of the time. Taking this overview through to the beginning of the period of Empire the scene is now set for the entrance of the three playwrights of the period who’s work is known to us.
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Season 2 of the podcast begins with an overview of the transition from Greek Theatre to Roman Theatre with the history of the early Roman Republic and the early forms of theatre, starting at 364 BCE and taking us through to the beginning of the end of the Republic in the second century BCE