Having recently directed the successful production of Bacchae for the Warwick Ancient Drama Festival, Katharine Broderick (BA Classical Civilisation, 2021, MA by Research Classics and Ancient History, present), discusses tragedy, humour and the relevance of Ancient Greek plays in modern society.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing my dissertation on the legacy of Athenian Democracy and its contribution to modern politics as part of my MA by Research course. I started researching this area last year during my BA, as part of my URSS (Undergraduate Research Support Scheme) project, and through a module, ‘Democracy and Imperialism in Classical Athens’.
What inspired you to study a degree in Classics?
I took A-level Classical Civilisation where we explored Ancient Theatre, and realised I wanted to continue learning about this topic.
What are your fondest memories of your undergraduate days at Warwick?
Much of my undergraduate degree was spent during the coronavirus lockdowns. I stayed in Leamington Spa and met friends when rules allowed. As Social Secretary of the Warwick Classics Society, I ran a few online quizzes and other events, which were fun.
I really enjoyed my first year, particularly watching Eurovision on the Piazza, getting involved with various societies, and meeting up with my friends before exams to have pizza and work together in the Oculus.
You’ve been involved in a few Ancient Drama Festival performances now, why do you enjoy it?
I like seeing how the performances came together, understanding the plays through their interpretation, and meeting students from other departments. Bacchae was the third Greek play I was involved in at Warwick. I was also in the cast of The Frogs and Oedipus Rex.
Although I studied Bacchae as part of my undergraduate degree, creating and watching the production gave me a different perspective. Bacchae has a mix of tragedy and humour, with relevant social context for the modern day.
Classics feeds into so much of what we do without us realising it. Things we see on stage and in books often have origins in the ancient world. People were making similar mistakes and having similar problems 2,000 years ago to those we have today.
What advice would you give to a student considering studying Classics at Warwick?
Warwick is a good place to study Classics. The department is close and supportive, and you get to know the academics well. Try and get to know people on your course and more widely – you never know who you’ll meet as a result.
What’s next for you after your MA?
We are hoping to take Bacchae to the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe. Personally, I want to take my time and think about my career next steps. I’m considering HR and project management and, in the meantime, will go back to tutoring which I enjoy.