Classics Trip to Warwick Ancient Drama Festival

29th January 2024

Our A-Level Classics students embarked on an exciting odyssey to Warwick on Friday 26th January to attend Warwick Ancient Drama Festival.

Previous festivals have featured Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex in 2020, Euripides’ Bacchae in 2022, and Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen in 2023, but this year Aeschylus’ made its Warwick debut – putting on an excellent performance of ‘The Persians’. This play is particularly exciting and interesting for students to experience, as it is the earliest surviving Greek tragedy and the only one to draw its plot on historical events.

Alongside watching the performance, students and staff attended an assortment of talks and lectures from Warwick University and other visiting scholars, specialising  in Greek drama. These talks and lectures were designed specifically for A-Level students, relating to their A-Level  courses. 

Talks included:

  • Dr Emmanuela Bakola ’Introduction to Greek theatre and festivals’
  • Dr Paul Grigsby, ‘The historical context of Aeschylus’ Persians’
  • Dr Xavier Buxton, ‘The feminine in Aeschylus’ Persians’
  • Professor David Fearn, ‘How do we talk about the imagery of Aeschylus?’ (seminar)
  • Dr Emmanuela Bakola ‘Watching Aeschylus’ Persians in performance’
  • Professor Margaret Miller (author of the seminal Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century B.C.: A Study in Cultural Receptivity) provided a 30-min video recorded talk on the Greek imagination of the Persians with evidence from iconography and material culture – available for pupils to watch in their own time.

Students took notes throughout the day – the content and discussion proved to be an extremely valuable source of information about the play and new ideas from the academic speakers which students can use in their future academic work. This is particularly useful for the Classical Civilisation students studying Democracy and the Athenians, but also of more general interest to all students of classical subjects as the ideas being presented will deepen their understanding of Greek, and by extension, Roman civilisation.

Miss C Ayres

Classics Teacher

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