Warwick Ancient Drama Festival: Euripides’ Bacchae

  • University of Warwick

Euripides’ BACCHAE, 27-28 JANUARY 2022

Two years after the success of Oedipus Rex, the Ancient Drama Festival will return to the University of Warwick in 2022, with a focus on Euripides’ Bacchae. The Department of Classics and Ancient History would like to invite students and teachers to enjoy a performance of this play, together with assorted talks and lectures from scholars of Greek drama.

The festival will take place on the 27th and the 28th January 2022, with the 28th January specifically dedicated to schools. The play itself will be produced by the Classics students at Warwick, and presented at the newly renovated premises of the Warwick Arts Centre. There will be three performances: one on Thursday 27th January, at 7.30pm, and two on Friday 28th January (3.30pm, 7.30pm).

The performance of the 27th January (7.30 pm) will be preceded (at 6.30pm) by a public lecture given by Dr Emmanuela Bakola (Associate Professor, University of Warwick) on ‘Nature and the Divine in the Bacchae’, followed by a Q&A. Tickets for the Thursday performance and talk, and the Friday evening performance, are priced at £6, and will be available for booking at the Warwick Arts Centre website from the 21st October.

Supporting the matinee performance on Friday 28th (3.30pm), the Department is offering a series of lectures, discussions, and seminars specifically for school students, and designed to link in with Greek, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History, Drama, and English syllabuses at GCSE and A Level. However, no previous knowledge of the play or subject area will be expected. The talks for the Schools Day will include:

  • Professor Michael Scott (University of Warwick) ‘The historical context of the Bacchae’
  • Professor Fiona Macintosh (University of Oxford) ‘The Bacchae in twentieth-century performance’
  • Professor Eric Csapo (British Academy Global Professor of Classics, University of Warwick) ‘Dionysus’ Face and Pentheus Dress: Dionysian Imagery and Symbolism’
  • Professor David Fearn (University of Warwick) on ‘Chorus and Characters in the Bacchae’ (seminar)
  • Xavier Buxton (University of Warwick) ‘Drama as Cult, or The Mysteries of the Bacchae’.

The day will start at 11am and end before 6pm. After Professor Scott’s talk in the main auditorium, students will have the opportunity to attend two others, before a matinee performance at 3.30pm. This will be followed by a Q&A with the director and producer of the play.

The Schools Day, including the performance, is FREE, but attendees are asked to organise their own transportation and lunch. If you wish to book your pupils for this day, please email Xavier Buxton ([email protected]), *stating the (approximate) number of participants and the two talk/workshop options you wish your pupils to attend*, before 7 January 2022. I can also provide access and parking information, and answer other enquiries.

In the last two years, the Schools Day became fully booked very quickly, and we operated a waiting list. If the event is fully booked or the matinee is not convenient, schools may instead book for the evening performances on Thursday 27th (7.30 pm), or Friday 28th (7.30pm). Tickets for both these performances (normally £6) will be reduced to £4.50 for sc​hool groups. To make a school group booking for an evening performance, please email [email protected], cc’ing Xavier Buxton ([email protected]).


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