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December 23, 2005

– Ipigenia at Aulis –

Writing about web page http://www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/events/id/2626

Theatre from WUDS

You are invited to the army camp at Aulis, to meet the leader of the Greek coalition forces, Agamemnon, and catch a glimpse of the operations in preparation for the war against Troy. Achilles will be holding a press conference to discuss his involvement in the coalition and his status as a rising star among the Myrmidons, and leaked sources suggest rumours of a royal wedding – Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia may be the surprise guest.

This is a promenade production using the Studio in a new and exciting way to follow the action of the play.

The Publicity Campaign will hit campus as soon as term begins, follow the instructions on the invite you receive…

£7.50 (£5.50)

May 12, 2005

What have we done?!

As you can see, you can now place your orders for The Vaughan Trilogy….but there are only just the one hundred available..

April 23, 2005

Results of the Actington Stanley Elections

Yes, elections that matter! On a raucous bus journey the votes were made and the results were released.. But for those who weren't on the bus of Flying Saucers, magic carpets, Andrea Bocelli and the arrival countdown. Or for those who didn't even come! here are the results…

in ascending order..

Jimmy Brown : 1 vote (his own vote in fact)
Jack Howson : 1 vote (he personally wasn't aware that he was even running for captaincy)
Gethin Jones: 3
Samuel William Brassington : 4

Due to the closeness of the result, Messers Jones and Brassington have decided to share responsibility Herr Brassington captaining on the pitch, and Jones off the pitch. llon.gyfarchion a hawddamor ag a

In other news I elected myself scribe secretary again, and by unanimous decision Miss Julia Maynard is elected Social Secretary with her first duty to be organising the Battered Dinner Dance.

March 19, 2005

Medea 7 –Spiderman has nothing on me and Owen

Okay so it's been a week since the performance, but it's still fresh in my head, honest! It was a great success, even mathematicians thought it was 'stunning and not at all pretentious' and that is not only shocking but something to be proud of. I think we re-established in some of the invited audience minds what theatre is about, and that I think is more than any of us were anticipating.

Thursday was the day of actually putting together the piece from the mini-groups and actually building the 'set'. Me and Owen played spiderman most of the day, me on the catwalk and him on a ladder, casting webs of string around the place to hold up the collage, booths and shadow boxes. Credit too to Holly who played with my nerves as she lay precariously half over the edge and fumbled with the collage string. Meanwhile the brickies were underneath building a wall. Later there was more work to be done in my lofty domain, I meddled in the lighting work James and Rhys were doing and then toyed with the projector and discovered how uncomfortable it is to stay in the same awkward position for ten minutes.
The Chorus (of whom I had the littlest inclination to what they were actually going to do….*pause, why am I writing like an English student?) Came out of what seemed to me like nowhere to deliver a great rendition of choral speaking, movement and tableaux not to mention creepy whispering. I'd been looking forward to seeing the chorus perform since I'd seen glimpses of the masks and facepaint, and I thought they were the perfect introduction to the acting parts of the production, linking the original myth and greek style to Jack and Zoe's far more colloquial argument. Speaking of which I had to supress my own giggles at their argument fortunately everyone in the audience was giggling too, so I got away with it. The silhouettes were a kind of bridging point between these two parts of the performance, whilst their subject was the traditional myth of child slaying, their form of course was far more modern and worked very well. (See the gallery for the dark side of Sophie).
Of course there were a couple of cock ups in the performance on Friday, and unsuprisingly they were in my sphere of influence. My American-friendly-fire style of projector cap bombing of the audience was not really my fault, the slow motion realisation of the cap slipping off was followed by another slow motion moment of me reaching across to grab it and subsequent missing and having to cover the lens. But as some people pointed out, my persecution of the girl below me was all linked with the themes of the installation. Hey at least it wasn't a knife hey Rothelite? It also took a while to move the film down onto the chorus and Jack and Zoe in the sheet since Owen had convinced me that we should chain the projector down for safety, we were perhaps over-zealous though and found the projector too secure to actually move, but it only took a few seconds to unclip the chains and the whole thing ended in success. Oh it was my friends who destroyed the wall too, women! Chuh!

So yes, I think it was Ian who said 'This is what I came to Warwick to do' and I couldn't agree more, definitely the most impressive thing we've done yet, and we've got two more years to go from strength to strength, which we will.

March 09, 2005

You know when you're a theatre student when….

this is the conversation you have on the sidelines of a football match (meant to add this to the end of the AGM).

Sam: shouts Rothelite!! Stay on the gentleman in the fetching turquoise!

Ric: It's more of a sea blue to be honest.

Geth: I'd say sky blue

Ric: It's a nice colour.

Sam: We're not debating that it's a nice colour, but which colour is it?shouts Go to him Rothelite!!

March 08, 2005

Actington Stanley AGM 2005

Actington AGM 2005 Minutes

Present – Sam, Geth, Owen, Ricardo, Roth, Jack
MIA : Will, Rhys, Jimmy, Hugh

To be discussed
Dinner Dance
Any Other Business


Progressing, demoralisation an issue. Inside games or outside games Vote - 3 to each side, to be decided. From now on, the nicer Pitch to be booked whenever possible!

Bad performance today but very apologetic and humble. Salutes to him as the rock of our team over the last two terms. He's concerned about defense issues, would prefer more constant subs, a good 5 minutes is better than a poor 10.

Wet t-shirt competition. Improved fitness, dramatic personal improvement! Makes the point that we can't tackle, calls for more maleable passing. Today was best game of his season.

Square formation is way of the future. Pass the ball more often, not always rushing up. Going in to space. Capable of defense. Needs to be more decisive. Finds shouting from the sidelines helpful.

Good goal scorer, good runner, but underachieving? Some fine goals, excellent up front but needs to be more defensively minded. Needs to come in deep so defenders can pass to hiim.

Solid, THE defense, good on the volley, good on the vision. MALEABLE, apologises for todays negativity.

Fitness issues - quit the ol' smokes? hesitates on the ball. Positioning and tactical awareness excellent, never let's his height get him down, a great addition.

Soluble, available, playmaker, communicator, heart of the team, god. More shooting though, more freedom to be the king, whatever wherever.

NEEDS SHOES WITH GRIPS, falls on his arse to many times and slides around. Need a return to the aggression of the early season, needs more confidence and meeting the ball. Positive, maleable,good passing when actually has the ball, fouls well.

Powers of analysis excellent, needs to be more switched on. Indecision however a magnificent comeback from his retirement in Summer 2001, first game in years.Good passing and willingness to learn.

Ball control an issue, but enthusiastic, needs more pace and confidence. Needs to stay awake in lectures, we need him next season too!

Election Speeches
Speeches made for the election of next years Captaincy, still accepting speeches. Votes to be made secretly to Ricardo via MSN.

Gethins Election Speech – Notes
More organised

got up the most - commitment
taken extra responsibilities

Return of the Rota
Rothelite exempt from rota debate, claims (justified) ignorance

Gethins Innovations : Socials - too much tension at end of games
Fitness - don't turn into a pie

Sams Election Speech – Notes
Warming, Growing, captaining, changing, supporting, encouraging, delegationing, talking, texting, training, socialising, democracying, Jugging and Jestering, Varsitying, Making a Difference..........Football.
_Question : Does missing lectures have an adverse effect on play?
Answer : Cheltenham is detrimental to Actington. EXPERIENCE._

Offered Tom a contract, Jules acting as ambassador to Tom. Votes for Tom and his skills to join the team overwhelmingly in favour.

Thursday 8:00 – Drink in Rootes social, bit of pool, bit of table football. Then company picnic outside battered, possible Rotheliting to follow. Dress Code : hats (and clothes). Hugh to be emailed, ALL WELCOME, esp. supporters.

Formation and Training
Tobe decided following captaincy vote.

Special Mentions
To Julia, who is constantly in support, excellent chanting and dancing and moral support, thankyou!!

To Hugh director of football, who is always with us in spirit.

Other business

RAFFLE – signed actington ball, do it for the kids.

ARE SAM AND GETH IN LOVE? – platonically probably, overwhelming vote in favour of the motion. Sam 'wouldn;t call it love as such'.


edit (for Jack)..................MSN ELECTIONS

March 03, 2005

Medea 6– A hard days all–night'...Rothelite?'

So it comes to this, sat for my 8th consecutive hour in the editing suite, a can of Grolsh in my hand (dont tell Tim) many a bag of sweets in my stomach, company from Sam Smallman (2nd yr blokie) and Owen who paces the room nervously noting that we've been waiting for this rendering for about an hour now, and if this attempt fails 'like a poor quality piece of shit' like the last two attempts did, Owen will destroy one departmental camera an hour unless we are met immediately by someone who knows what they're doing. Our training was abismal, after spending half an hour working out that the computer we were using and the tape player we were using were not connected to each other by anything more than our good intentions, Nick (2nd yr) proposed the idea of moving on to another computer. This done it was a mere hour before we managed to familiarise ourselves with the controls and capture all the precious filming we've done. An hour on from this point having succesfully mastered the process of putting clips on the timeline, Rothelite entered to comment 'is that all you've done?'. Rothers was lucky to escape without a neutering.

However… apologies… Owen has just broken down in front of the computer as it fools him by starting another process, going from 100% to a brand new 0%. With his new sense of technological insecurity, Owen now claims he will eat a candle if the computer does not meet his demands. It's not the largest candle I've ever seen, but eating candles in general is something not to be taken lightly…..However, we eventually scraped the barrel of our clips, repeated a few and even considered running some in reverse, every clip was considered for slow motion, even the dialgogue, but there came a point when those with foresight to choose another element of the performance entered the room, they were met with gasps of glee (Owen's now chewing the end of the candle btw) because me and Owen had created something that could even be described as 'sexy' and has been, several times, accompanied by 'awws', and 'yeys' and by Roth's 'yes, Yes, YES!'.

That seems a very long time ago though, since then we managed to finish the film!! HURRAH HUZZAH! That is in the sense that we can play it end to end on the computer, how wrong we were to think it all over though. As the past 2 hours have involved missionary work to costcutters, an olympic sprint through arctic conditions to Whitefields for CD-Rs which are useless as the cd writer is playing up, not to mention candle eating, which is worrying me more and more.

On the plus side though, we made it to 4 minutes and Owen has resolved not to eat the wick. So by tomorrow, when we will stagger of the editing suite and straight to the seminar we should have our element of the installation, crisp and ready to go.


March 02, 2005

Medea 5– Riddles in the dark

Tuesday was all about the dialogue shots, we set up the studio with lights and shot segments of speech from the text being spoken by various members of our group, through the magic of editing we're going to put this into some coherent order with the effects from the maths department.

The shooting went very well, may even consider putting the blooper reel on dc++? Including such as classics as 'Haction!!' Don't want to give too much away though.

We'll be editing tomorrow and anymore shots we need doing

February 25, 2005

Medea 4– Flipchart Pictionary

Todays session started off with Jack showing us how he'd been playing around with Margaret Thatcher. Jack and Ian have put together a couple of fantastic tracks mixing voice over and some incidental music, I think this is the one they decided they wanted in the booths, but I'm not sure.

The Collage group have expanded into doing a collage and two shadow screen performances, which we've incorporated into the main layout hoping they'll be happy with it.

Today was mainly about getting the piece planned as a whole, and what we wanted the audience to experience. At the expense of some of the freedoms we wanted to give the audience I think we're now confident that we have a fully planned piece with few grey areas. The biggest change to the previous incarnations of the piece was the decision to split the audience at the door into Male and Female in order to clearly set the themes in concrete from the beginning, but more importantly to give the two genders a very different experience and personalise the issue to them. Admittedly this means that the freedoms of the audience has been limited. But I like to look at it that now the audience is no longer in control, they're lost and stuck in the middle of this world but they have the freedom to explore it.

may have put the chorus in teh wrong place there, not sure..
We also talked alot about the performance, which is now a little difficult to explain but involves the relationship between Jason and Medea, the kids, a bedsheet, and death. woo.

Medea 3– Professional film buffs (need a hat)

A lot of clarification of the style, subject and content of the film+performance has spontaneously occured over the past couple of days.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the Buffs (Me, Sophie, Zoe, Sarah, Joyo, the Rothelite and Rhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyssssssssssssssssssssssssssss) went on a trip to maths department (after discovering its film worthiness in our location scouting) with Owen's camera to basically shoot anything that looked good. Avoiding freezing in the cold me, Owen and Roth sat down and went over the shots we'd just taken and tried to make sense of it.
Here's the list, which unfortunately probably won't mean much to those who haven't been involved:

So I deleted it.

When we started today though, we realised we hadn't thought about the themes enough, so Hugh suggested that since there were three girls and three blokes that we all took some time to belittle the opposite sex. So for all you bloggers, me, James and Owen bring you some of our observations on the fairer sex. These are wildly accurate generalisations of course.

Don't you just hate it....

when they assume you can't understand anything they're going through just because you haven't got ovaries.


when they say that we should know what's wrong with them, and what to do, even though the rest of the time they say we can never understand.

Technological incompetancy

Having to explain films, especially at the most innapropriate times

Innapropriate over-giddiness

Moody, makes you assume it's your fault and then won't explain what's wrong.

Assume no man can be trusted, but all women can

Saying things that something didn't mean anything, when it clearly did.

Where as every woman is seen as a deep and meaningful person, men are always put into stereotypes.

Bitchiness with other women.

If a blokes in a mood he's an idiot, but if the woman is then the man has to adapt.

A man can move on from an argument after an hour, a woman still hasn't moved on after a week.

My personal favourite – They can't understand why explosions are cool.

Talking about the good things about their ex's.

This was all in good fun and of course the girls came up with more points about us, hopefully they'll blog them. So in time honoured tradition we let them believe that they'd won (of course we did really)

Yet to see how we'll use this in the performance, but with these ideas for the dialogue shots we decided since we'd booked the camera to go out and do the effects shots.

My personal Favourite is the 'In the midst yet misunderstood shot', it's an old trick but a goody. I stand perfectly still for ten minutes and have to suffer maths students who think they're comedians and French people further lowering my respect for their countrymen. Then we speed the shot up and it results in a minute of the world spinning around me. Everybody else going about their business except me and the camera, a bit Spice Girls 'Two become One' with less skirt and innuendo.

Hopefully we've now got pretty much all of the location shots and the work will now move in to the studio for the dialogue. Which at the moment seems like it's going to be a combination of lines from the play and the ideas we came up with after Hugh's suggestions. The structure we came up with on wednesday was a repeating 4 minute piece with mini-scenes of dialogue punctuated by effects shot sequences.

Me, Roth and Owen also invaded the editing suite and almost died of joy, in fact I wouldn't be suprised to find Owen huddled over the cameras gollum-style whispering 'my precious', that is, if I didn't know that his 'precious-to-be' kicks the ass of all the departmental cameras. Just add the phrase 'but my camera does it even better' to every statement you could make about the history of cinematography.

Very excited to find out about what the other mini-groups have come up with in the full group session tomorrow, especially after seeing the Homebase team banging away at their masterpiece yesterday. We've been criticised by members of the other group for taking the 'easy road' by splitting in to smaller teams, but it's clear from talking to people that everything we're doing is being considered as part of the whole rather than seperate sideshows. This is the most excited I've been in any of the practical modules so far, I really think this presentation's going to be fantastic.

February 19, 2005

Medea 2– clarification of ideas

The Session on friday began as usual in a group brainstorming and telling the ideas we'd all had. After we clarified what themes were central to the performance, (opposition of the sexes, and how this conflict can have repurcussions) we came together in our groups.

The Film and live perfomance group have merged somewhat as the interactivity between them is key to each of them working.

So Me, Owen, Rothelite, Sophie and Sarah sat down and threw about ideas:

Contemporising the story; could the film be a modernisation in terms of mise en scene etc. Grimy and seedy backstreets style to the presentation and/or characters?

Using more than one couple, several actors would take the issues from being about a relationship to being about society in general and depersonalise the opposing sexes.

Several ways of transferring the attention of the film from actor to actor, here's a couple:
Shot of actors upperbody,smoking->shot of ashtray, hand puts down fag, in the same shot another hand picks up the fag -> identical shot to first but with different actor smoking
One actor in foreground in focus and other in background blurred, effect like that of a flickering light bulb but flickering between images of both actors and then stabalising on the the other.

We've had a lot of inspiration from Requiem for a Dream (an AMAZING film, one of the best arguments against drugs and the most haunting soundtrack ever) with certain cinematic effects. For example; Macro shots that show a series of relevant objects/things in a sequence that is repeated; 'the camera walks with you shot' (you have to see it to understand); the beautiful effect of speeding things up ever so slightly to make things unnatural, give it the Verfremdungs effekt as an English + Theatre student might say; Requiem has a way of showing the perceptions of it's characters (love the fridge!) that I think is an important point when it comes to showing the themes and motivations of the male/female personas in the film.

Chiascuro lighting creates a great atmosphere of suspense <-> fear. It's used most frequently in Film Noir (Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, The Man who wasnt there, Minority Report etc.) with having the light source behind some kind of grid like window blinds or a roof fan etc. there is a pattern of light created only ever revealing half of what is there. This is a great way of creating a tragic-dramatic atmosphere instantly and I think it would be great to use to immediately establish the seriousness of the situation and struggle present in the themes.

There remains some indecision on the nature of the relationship between the film and the live performance, mainly because we haven't thought about the performance very much. Personally though I'd like the film and performance to mirror each other, possibly in the sense that one or the other showed the opposing forces in the sex-war. This connects to the idea of the female/male being in the foreground/the background and then vise versa.

Some general thoughts
There seems to be a lot of focus throughout the group as a whole that the film is a centre piece, I think I speak for the film/performance group that this shouldn't be the case. Just as the film is a supporting element to the performance, the two should be a support to the whole experience of the INSTALLATION. The piece should be affecting people from all sides, there shouldn't be focus purely on the film when it's going on.

With this in mind I suggest that the film shouldn't have a plot as such, but be abstract in order to create the necessary effect without drawing the audience into this one aspect of the whole.

I'm also very keen on using lines from the play to keep us rooted in Medea and not going off on too much of a tangent, this would be in keeping with my abstract point but also giving the film a clear meaning.

Location, location, location

Me Owen and the Rothelite went location searching (check the gallery) despite upsets like my stupid mistake in not putting the film into my camera properly and losing some good shots, we have a selection of locations that could be used. Since we're not entirely sure of the content of the film yet we went to a range of locations on campus, the closest thing we have to classical architecture (the pillared Maths Block and cathedral-like University house) and some natural locations in the Gibbet Hill wood.

Despite some great locations I still prefer any 'scenes' or dialogue to take place in a controlled interior space like the studio, I think to have too many 'natural' real life locations will detract from the supporting role of the film, too much detail I think will just make it too 'interesting' (not in the sense that we don't want the film to be interesting but that

February 17, 2005

Medea 1–Jason's Fan Club

1st Session of our Medea group

A quick recap of my arguments for why Jason deserves sympathy:

1)Medea never considers any other possible outcome than revenge over Jason, even if you take for granted that revenge is the only course of action, in my opinion it should only be taken out on those that deserve it, The children are innocents and the weight of the tragedy of their death is laid on Jason's shoulders. He was still their father and he certainly cared enough to persuade Creon and his new wife to let them stay. In the words of Owen, 'fathers for justice'.

2)Medea's been dumped,divorced and had a restraining order on her, but considering she murdered her own family we'd condemn her much more in present day conditions. Jason owes her his life, but it's clear she's more than a little unhinged in an obsessive way, lacking in empathy, back in civilisation Jason has probably started to be a little repulsed by his wife. He knows that she'll be cast out of Corinth, but knows that she has friends in Athens and the children can either go there, or as he later persuades Creon, stay in Corinth. Jason tries to make it an amicable divorce.

3)I'm not a fan of thinking that individuals should be pressured by society, it always seems inevitable that this divorce is going to happen and the proceeds can not be stopped. Considering that Medea is a woman who kills her own children, Jason probably thinks this is the easiest way of letting Medea down gently, after all, this way it's 'all society's fault'.

Obviously I can see all the reasons why Medea would deserve sympathy, but even as the Medea supporters said, it's difficult to sympathise after she slaughters her own children horrifically with a sword, considering that she is an expert in poisoning this seems to be a cruel way to mercifully kill her own children.

These are the notes I came up with during our visit to the library, from what books Gethin and Will didn't make off with. ;)

Two differing variations of the original myth –
1)Medea attempts to make her children immortal resulting in their accidental deaths. In this version Jason & Medea inherit the throne of Corinth and become king and Queen.
2)Medea's children killed by the Corinthians in revenge for the murder of their king.

Euripedes frequently used his artistic license to adapt myths, no one is absolutely sure whether his version was another actual myth or his interpretation. Most Scholars think his interpretation.

Despite the fact that Medea is linked to the supernatural in many respects and her actions can be seen as 'above human ethics', however Euripedes goes out of his way to make her seem more human, bringing her down to that questionable human level.

'She views her renewal of criminal resolve a return to sanity' suggesting that she views herself on this supernatural level living by the same rules as the gods or heroes (eg.Achilles)

Euripedes – Medea is bound by mortal rules
Medea – Medea is descended from the gods and above the rules.

The Presentation

Our primary theme of the conflict between Media&Jason /Male&Female/ etc. and the consequences of this kind of conflict on the innocents was the starting point of our conversation that lead to an exploration of different technicalities we could use in an installation style of theatre. here are some of the ideas;

Use of projected film combined with live theatre – debate on the relationship that there could be between the mediums, yet to be decided.

Possibilities – The action between them overlaps; they both display different sides of the argument; one reinforces the other; there is a concious relationship between people on the screen and on the stage.

Ideas – One displays Medea's point of view, the other Jasons; The screen displays the consequences of the events on stage;Two or more screens projecting a film based on the events.

Use of recorded sound
Those that had been outside interviewing people in the street suggested that we should use what had been said about Medea's actions as soundbites over the speakers.

A large collage of relevant material is intended to be displayed for people to view.

Use of lighting
It was suggested that the lighting should be quite minimal and the audience be given torches so that they were in control of what they saw and how they interpreted it. This would be particularly effective with the collage as the audience revealed parts of it at a time.

It's agreed there should be focus at some point on some live theatre..

We have split into groups to consider these different aspects of the piece. I elected to be in the Film group with Owen, Rhys, and James. These groups will be maleable as the development process and people's jobs may change where needed.

February 11, 2005

Into The Wardrobe

Come see my short but sweet Warwick theatrical debut – 'Into the Wardrobe'. It's a short (about 50 mins) play, surreal, funny in a quirky way. Written by a member of Codpiece, acted by members of Codpiece, quite 'Codpiece' in it's style. (Plugging Codpiece a bit here) Not sure how much it's going to be on the door, but it's only to cover the cost of hiring the cooler so it shouldn't be much.

It's on next Saturday (26th Feb) at 5:15 in the Cooler.

Look out for the posters going up soon!

edit – Unfortunately the play is void of anything from Narnia, I wish it had some talking animals in it as much as the next man!

November 12, 2004

Samia?.....The Samiad???... a connection in the sand, oh and some masks

Writing about web page http://didaskalia.open.ac.uk/issues/vol1no5/gettymac.html

Watching all the clips of Menander and reading about there performance of Samia (an obvious type-o, they mean Samiad, lots of wishes surely! remember the one where they went to the future? classic!), anyway I thought it might be worth mentioning a play I saw performed entirely in masks and without words…

I saw 'Island' by Trestle theatre company in Lancaster a couple of years ago and it was amazing. Based on a true life story of an elderly woman found dead on a traffic island the story revolves around her life and how it has lead her to become trapped on this roundabout. I remember coming out of the theatre and talking to my mates about it, and we all could imagine the play with full dialogue! We almost remembered it like that! It was a wonderful comedy because of the way the masks were brought to life by gestures and movements that matched them perfectly. For example the po-faced mask walked pompously and the jolly round mask was a road worker who had some hilarious gestures.

I digress..

The perfect thing about Island was that it could have been watched by anyone of any language. So it's a nice little reference point for me when imagining the use of masks in Greece. The difficulty for the actor I'd think is the fact that they have to perform all the side effects of an emotion rather than the expression itself. For example, slumped shoulders for disappointment, gestures of disbelief for confusement. etc.

The article in reference to the play '5 children and it', sorry, 'Samia' is very useful in understanding more details in the Old comedies and how they were transferred to Rome. For example the role of women in the plays, questions that were raised. And disappointingly, that there was and abandoning of masks. Jim Henson would not be proud. Interesting links at the end to slavery to the media and sitcoms.

October 22, 2004

Fresco fun with Mythological madness

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_s/ug/courses/th106/ancient/frescos/

*1. Consider the depictions of mythological scenes:

i What are the main similarities and main differences between the way in which the death of Pentheus is depicted in this fresco and in Euripides' Bakkhai? (Use an online text of the Bakkhai if you do not have your copy to hand.)*

Fresco – link

The similarities are simple ones, the fir branches and the rocks appear in both the Bacchai and the fresco. However they are not the actual cause of death in the Bacchai, the fresco suggests that he's about to be stoned and thrashed to death. In the Bacchai the maenads fail to get him that way, and have to pull a tree down and then claw him to death, dislocating and then pulling off his arms and clawing the flesh from his chest.

The Bacchai is far more brutal than the pussyfooting fresco, but then would you want a man being clawed to pieces depicted on your wall?

ii. Compare and contrast the way in which the death of Iphigenia is depicted in this fresco with how it is recounted in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, and/or in Euripdes' play Iphigenia at Aulis.

fresco -http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_s/ug/courses/th106/ancient/frescos/iphaul/

The fresco depicts Agmamemnon with his finger to his lip in self-debate, Iphegenia with her arms towards the heavens pleading as she is carried by two men and Klymentestra, hooded, hanging her head in mourning on the left. In the sky there are two classic depictions of Artemis (the goddess who is preventing the fleet from leaving for Troy), The deer was the animal most closely associated to Artemis, and both her and her brother Apollo were skilled archers, hence her depiction with a bow. I am confused as to why there are two depictions of her.

This situation is very close to the one referred to in the Orestia but with the reasons for the action clear and made physical, ie. Artemis' presence in the sky.You can almost see Agamemnon pondering the lines 'can I choose either without doing evil'

iii. Why do you think the similarities and differences which you have identified may exist?

Similarities are there because it's the same story! duh. Differences may exist because there were some changes always made in the transition from Greek Myth to the Roman ones.

iv. On reviewing your responses to the above questions, how useful do you find these Roman frescos to be as evidence for traditions of tragic performance in 5th-century Athens?

The frescos aren't really a useful resource when considering 5th century BC Athens. For a start there would have been an evolution of ideas in the time inbetween. And secondly they depict the myths, not the theatrical experience of them.

October 16, 2004

Staging the Eumenides –3

3. In Theatron, explore the model of the Theatre of Dionysos, which represents the theatre as it may have been during the Lycurgan period (338 – 326 B.C.E.). Compare and contrast its stone skene with the wooden Phlyakes stage.

i.What possibilities and limitations for performance does each type of scene building allow or impose?

The possibilities of the Dionysos theatre are seemingly endless, there are plenty of interesting aspects of the structure that could be used in performance or left redundant in order to concentrate the action. Also it conveys a far more grand and royal impression compared to the ramshackle Phylaxes, something which the producers may have considered important considering that all greek tragedy focuses on their aristocracy, a trend that continued all the way to 19th century. (ooh cross-pollonation of modules)

The limitations of the Theatre of Dionysos are directly related to the sheer scale of it. There is little room for intimacy when the actor has to shout loud enough for the crowd in the nose-bleed section. Fortunately The Orestia doesn't really ever call for any acting on an intimate level. But that doesn't mean that you couldn't take it in that direction, as a modern director probably would want to. The Phylaxes small scale means that there was far more scope for a more intense play, in my opinion.

ii.The action of the Eumenides is set in three locations. What are they?

The Delphic Temple of Apollo (outside and within), Temple of Pallas (Athena, ie. The Acropolis)

October 15, 2004

No Purple, but lots of Greeks…..TOGA!!!

Writing about web page http://www.blogs.warwick.ac.uk/shimonastarling/gallery/toga_party/

i. Is it possible to determine whether the ancient vase paintings are depictions of theatrical performances, or of the myths upon which the plays are also based?

Can't remember if women were allowed in plays, get the feeling they weren';t though, so their presence on the vase would indicate that it represents the myth rather than the play. Natalie says so too. Good old natalie :D

Kate thinks that Orestes' costume is very theatrical, especially the helmet, I think if I was going to make a vase, I'd give him a pretty helmet too, if it was the myth or the play.


Snakes appear on several of the vases especially with Erinyes, it is doubtful whether the furies onstage would have carried around live, poisonous snakes.

ii. In the light of your response to i. above, how significant may ancient vase paintings be as evidence for ancient theatre practice?

If they really are based on theatrical performances they may be slightly useful, they provide information on costume and props. However we doubt it.

How to write a good analysis??

Pictures, although not a necessary element of answering the question, do provide backup in immediate understanding of the content. Plus they break up those huge reams of text with a bit of colour.

The General worship of Hugh Denard that lightly breaks up comments, along with the immortal words 'Purple, purple, purple' are hugely beneficial to the group, not to mention the country as a whole.

Some people ie. Scarfed Jack, prefer to punctuate their work with satirical wit. Which is a blessing because he writes so damn much.

Sparse but plenty of notes can make for difficult reading, just the paragraph will do.

Kate suggests a rating system may be a good idea, she's right.

October 10, 2004

SST1 – Places of Perfomance – Active Learning


A great resource to establish some geographical knowledge of the places we're talking about especially as it labels the places in their antiquitous names. Helpful.

http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/greekarchitecture/ + leading to http://www.stoa.org/athens/

Very detailed descriptions of locations such as the pantheon. Especially useful are documents such as the one describing the differences between different types of column. A trivial topic maybe but a good example of the kind of detail the site goes into, also includes a good number of photos for most articles at a useful resolution. So providing a good background history of Greek architecture, which may be useful when considering the skenia or other parts of the 'theatron'.


Hundreds of photos from seemingly anywhere touched by antiquity, unfortunately most are accompanied by no description at all. Therefore it could be useful if you knew exactly what you were looking for but far less so if you didn't.


An extensive links page, not really a website in itself, but a portal to other sites containing images and descriptions of theatres and other structures. Several of these have 360 degree quicktime pictures allowing you to move your view over the whole theatre. A good variety of sites linked into this one place.

3) http://duke.usask.ca/~porterj/skenotheke.html – This site provides a directory of useful websites in this subject, therefore making it a great starting point when setting out to research practically anything on Greek and Roman theatre, not to mention even Asia Minor, Aegean Islands etc. It is also far easier to navigate the others, wth one simple page where all the links are listed according to their country of origin, it is vastly uncluttered compared to the others. Making finding a certain picture or theatre quick and easy and browsing unconfusing.

4)http://www.theatrehistory.com/ancient/greek.html – Seemingly anything and everything to do on Greek Theatre. Including biographic notes, architecture, records and preservations of the original plays, the roles of different elements of theatre (eg. the chorus). Found by searching for 'Ancient Greek Theatre' on google, an obvious but effective searching method. It should be added if only for the structure of the site, for example if you click on the biography of Aechylus you get a list with it of his plays with a brief history and synopsis of them. It doesn't always go into great detail on anyone subject, but is good for browsing or clarifying things.

5) Euripides – The Cyclops (Available on shelf) PA 3973.C9

Deviant Art

Writing about web page http://www.deviantart.com

Here is a site that is simply the largest art gallery in the world, with currently over 8,000,000 pieces of art of all category and genre. There is also a huge selection of the art available to buy as variously sized prints, as well as mouse mats, mugs and that kind of thing. Most is reasonably priced, excluding the few looneys who try and sell stuff for hundreds of pounds (and fail miserably). The Prints themselves are really high quality, if I compare them to the poster sale that takes place in the Cooler now and then, they are thrice the quality of the artprints that were selling there for £7 and are usually available in glossy, matte or lustre prints. I highly recommend the lustre ones as they combine the sheen of the glossy ones with the texture of the matte.

There is literally something for everyone, from Photography to Anime and Pencil to paint. And a huge range of stuff comes in the right size for your desktop. You don't have to buy the art to appreciate it.

I suggest you start here – http://grigari.deviantart.com because it's my gallery :D;) With some reasonable prints I may add ;)