fri 24/02/2017

ancient Greece

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Finborough Theatre

When a leading fringe theatre starts the year with a production whose gender ratio is 8:1 in favour of men, it had better have a good reason. When seven of those eight are wearing prosthetic penises, it had better have a very good reason. And a plan...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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Sunday Book: Carlo Rovelli - Reality Is Not What It Seems

Scientists today tend to patronise the early Greek philosophers who, 2500 years ago, inaugurated enquiry into the nature of things. The Atomic Theory? A lucky guess, they allege. But Carlo Rovelli accords them, and especially Democritus, the key...

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Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile flood, greets visitors just as it met sailors entering the busy trading port of Thonis-...

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Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire without Limit, BBC Two

The world of antiquity, from Greece to Rome, is both so familiar and so unknown. So it was more than welcome when the immensely knowledgable Professor Mary Beard – the role of the academic, she announced, is to make everything less simple –...

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Sicily: Culture and Conquest, British Museum

This exhibition – the UK's first major exploration of the history of Sicily – highlights two astonishing epochs in the cultural history of the island, with a small bridging section in between. Spanning 4,000 years and bringing together over 200...

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Medea, Almeida Theatre

With her strong, often fierce features and her convincing simulations of rage, Kate Fleetwood might have been born to play Medea. Unfortunately this isn’t Euripides’ Medea but Rachel Cusk’s free variations on the myth rather than the play. Many of...

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Iliad: War Music, National Theatre Wales

Iliad is the third collaboration between National Theatre Wales and “the two Mikes”, directorial duo Pearson and Brookes. The pair have been responsible for two previous highlights of the still young company’s back catalogue, The Persians (2010) and...

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Llanelliad: Greeks bear gifts to Wales

The Trojan War has been going on for nine years when Homer's account begins in The Iliad. Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes have been developing their version of the story, using Christopher Logue's War Music, for nearly half as long. True, when they...

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Building the Ancient City: Athens, BBC Two

Heaven, or a lot of pagan gods at least, may know what was in the air 2500 years ago. Bettany Hughes has just finished her trilogy of philosophers from that millennium, and now we have Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill taking us genially around...

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The Iliad, British Museum /Almeida Theatre

You don’t know Homer’s Iliad until you’ve heard it read aloud, all 24 books – not quite every line, but almost – and 16 hours of it. Yesterday's marathon was surely something like the events in which the Athenians kept the oral tradition...

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Bakkhai, Almeida Theatre

This is the real Greek, bloody-fantastical thing. After the fascinating but flawed attempt to bring Aeschylus’s Oresteia into the 21st century, the Almeida has turned to a more tradition-conscious kind of experiment with Euripides’ last and greatest...

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