Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

Classics Guest Lecture

11 December 2020

On Friday 4th December, Dr Lynn Fotheringham of Nottingham University kindly gave Sixth Formers studying Greek, Latin and Classical Civilisation a lecture focusing on the play Oedipus Tyrannus and the performance of Greek tragedy to a modern day audience. This engaging talk encouraged us to question what makes up a stylised Greek tragedy and how this can be portrayed to an audience who prefer a naturalistic and relatable performance. Dr Fotheringham showed us two clips from modern performances of the play, one using masks and dehumanising movement and costume, whereas the other tried to marry key characteristics of a Greek tragedy with modern story telling techniques.

Overall, we found the masks and stylised view quite unsettling for a modern audience and the naturalistic approach more enjoyable. We concluded that to portray an ancient performance to a modern audience successfully you have to strip away some of the staging of a Greek tragedy to make it engaging and enjoyable for contemporary tastes.

We would like to thank Dr Fotheringham for taking the time to deliver this informative and thought provoking talk that made each student think beyond their studies and question the wider topic of Greek tragic performance.

by Constance Davies, Year 13 Classical Civilisation scholar

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