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By Frankie Goodway
You may have noticed that most of last week’s column was about a play I hadn’t seen (if you didn’t read that column, you know better now.) Hopefully the same won’t be true of today’s topic extraordinaire: The Greek Play.
The Greek Play gets a hell of a lot of interest every time it returns. People like me who have dabbled in the odd bit of Greek theatre will waffle a tad pretentiously about returning to the origins of drama and enhancing our understanding of the rhythmical devices at play in chorus work, while the classicists all roll their eyes. Inside, however, the non-classicists are imagining a theatre full of Boris-like nerds excitedly penning down every mispronunciation to go over later in a tutorial. I may talk about it, but the idea of actually sitting through several hours of ancient Greek with only a body count to tell me if it’s a tragedy or not sounds horrifying. I mean, imagine my confusion at being surrounded by a cackle of classicists, all laughing at that hilarious pun on μή τις!
Little known fact: I wanted to be a classicist once. I got better.
Last year I wouldn’t have gone, being still wet behind the ears when it came to Oxford drama (and without a handy column), so I urge all the Freshers on three year courses to go. THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE! With a year’s wisdom behind me, I’m looking to put my pretension to the test and see if I can really enjoy Greek drama in its native tongue.
Also, it has Japanese theatre techniques! That’s exciting! Except, damn, just lost an opportunity to talk pretentiously about Greek theatre style. There’s a Drama A level gone to waste. The poster is sexy too. To be honest, I’m also still feeling a bit of residual guilt for not managing to see Children of Oedipus (I seem to spend a lot of my time not seeing plays) and I’m hoping that seeing Arabella Curie’s translation will make it up to the Gods. Oh, yes. There’s a translation. Maybe I will get the jokes after all.