Bloomsbury Theatre - February 2015
National Student Drama Festival, Scarborough - March 2015
Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens - April 2015
American Community School, Athens - April 2015
International Youth Festival of Ancient Drama, Ancient Messene - April 2015
British Musuem - July 2015
The UCL Classical Drama Society and the Department of Greek & Latin present Euripides' Bacchae in association with the Bloomsbury Theatre. Directed by Emily Louizou in a modern English translation by James Morwood.
The Bacchae is Euripides’ last play, written shortly before his death. Within it, the Greek tragedian encapsulates what it means to be a human being. It is a unique tragedy that explores the darkest corners of human nature, and its raw and animalistic side. The Bacchae searches deep into the human soul and confronts humans’ worst fears: pain, sorrow, and disgrace. Euripides’ play portrays the undesired emotionalism which can lead human crowds into inhuman conduct.
Our production allows modern audiences to meet Dionysus — god of pleasure, madness, and liberation — in a mad Bacchic frenzy as a state of delusion which holds the human body at the centre of its creation. Euripides has created an enthralling piece: a game of antithetical forces, where sanity and madness come to conflict. In a performance-ritual about the battle between human instincts and human wisdom, join us for a dark celebration of the exotic and the ecstatic; for a journey of no time and no space into the ‘otherness’ of the human self.
A game of fragmented identities
A game of revenge and punishment.
A game of life. And death.
Director: Emily Louizou
Original Music Composition: David Denyer
Set Design: Avra Alevropoulou
Costume Design: Eleni Bantra
Choreography: Valeriya Azorina & Despina Pseftodiakou
Sound Design: James Melling
Performing: Alisha Iyer, Moa Taylor Hodin, Polyanna Cohen, Cara Fay, Faidra Faitaki, Cora Burridge, Mercedes Bromwich, Helena Cadhela, Adam Woolley, Pavlos Chrisodoulou, Jeremy Wong, Jack Tivey, Charlotte Holtum, Alistair Rooms, Ranulph Tees, Jamie Sillitoe, Hayden Munt, Akshay Nugent
Musicians: Clemence Robert, Matthew Wagaine, Francesca Piccano Moss, Rowan Tinkers, David Denyer
The production opened on the 10th February 2015 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London receiving a sold-out run and a wealth of praise by both audience and critics. Since then, it has been selected by the UK National Student Drama Festival as one of the best shows of 2014-2015. It has also been chosen to take part in the 4th International Festival of Ancient Drama in Ancient Messene, Greece in April. Finally, it has been invited to give a special performance at the British Museum on the 23rd of July.
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"I don’t want to impose a specific perspective. I’d rather people had different questions and different ideas. I prefer that.’”
Read Emily's interview about staging the Bacchae here.
"An overview of our production of Euripides’ Bacchae from beginning to its international tour"
Read Emily's article on the journey of the Bacchae for PlaysToSee here.
What The Critics Said:
A captivating play that I would recommend anyone to see. It is a very professional performance, both technically and dramatically…”
UCL’s The Bacchae is a fairly straight forward take on the play and it is a very good one. an exciting and enjoyable play that ably conveyed Euripides’ message on the duality of human nature and the danger of offending a god.
"Although the actors are all very young, their performances are strong: the girls playing the Maenads all fully embrace the ecstatic frenzy called for, maniacally worshipping Dionysus with ethereal dances and shrill chants and proving that ‘cult’ is not too strong a word for the title of this performance."
“Striking, intense and unsettling: an impressive production of a strange and violent play.”
"Director Emily Louizou has realised a disciplined and greatly effective tragic production… A brilliant and lurid rendering of Bacchae... A sterling production with a pertinence that stands the test of time."
“An excellent interpretation of Euripides’ greatest tragedy, showcasing great talent”
“The Maenads are menacing and athletic, yet far from this effect wearing off, it ratchets up with every successive appearance… A muscular staging…"
"It’s too easy to treat tragedy with po-faced solemnity; here, though, in the abstract on-stage world is a sense of fun, of detachment and theatricality that open up this play to its audience."
Read more on the transfer of the production in the British Museum here.