tue 16/04/2024

ancient Greece

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...

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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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10 Questions for Broadcaster Bettany Hughes

How do you live a good life? Is wealth a good thing? How do you create a just society? The United Kingdom's electorate recently pondered such questions in the polling booth, and made their decision. The Labour Party is agonising over them as it...

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Modigliani, Estorick Collection

Modigliani’s short life was a template for countless aspiring artists who, in the period after his death in 1920, were only too willing to believe that a garret in Montmartre and a liking for absinthe held the secret to creative brilliance. While...

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Sex and the Church, BBC Two

I’ve got no idea what the opposite of dumbing down might be. Swatting up? Whatever it is, it’s surely going to set the tone for the next couple of Friday nights on BBC Two, where Sex and the Church is as erudite a piece of television as we’re going...

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Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art, British Museum

We think we know it when we see it. But how, pray, do we define beauty? The ancient Greeks thought they had the measure of it. In the 4th century BC, the “chief forms of beauty,” according to Aristotle, were “order, symmetry and clear delineation.”...

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