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Aristophanes' Assemblywomen 2023

Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen, 26-27 JANUARY 2023

We are pleased to announce that the Warwick Ancient Drama Festival will return in January 2023. After Sophocles' Oedipus Rex in 2020 and Euripides' Bacchae in 2022, this year the focus will be Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen, directed by Hana Lawrie and produced by Seb Handley. The Department of Classics and Ancient History would like to invite students and teachers to enjoy a performance of this play, together with assorted talks and lectures from scholars of Greek drama.

The festival will take place on the 26th and the 27th January 2023, with the 27th January specifically dedicated to schools. The play itself will be presented at the newly renovated premises of the Warwick Arts Centre, and will be directed and produced by Classics students at Warwick – give them a follow on their Instagram page. There will be three performances: one on Thursday 26th January, at 19.00, and two on Friday 27th January (15.30, 19.00).

The performance on Thursday 26th January (19.00) will be preceded (at 18.15) by a public lecture given by myself (Xavier Buxton, Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick) on ‘The Domestication of the Polis in Aristophanes’ followed by a Q&A. Tickets for the Thursday performance and lecture, and the Friday evening performance, priced at £6, are on sale now on the Warwick Arts Centre website hereLink opens in a new window.

Schools Day - Friday 27th January


Supporting the matinee performance on Friday 27th (15.30), the Department is offering a series of lectures, discussions, and seminars specifically for school students, and designed to link in with Greek, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History, Drama, and English syllabuses at GCSE and A-Level. However, no previous knowledge of the play or subject area will be expected. All participants will be able to attend a first lecture in the morning (11.00)

  • Professor Michael Scott (University of Warwick) ‘The historical context of Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen’

This will be followed by a selection of talks running simultaneously, and repeated in two sessions (12.15-13.00 and 14.00-14.45)

  • Professor Eric Csapo (British Academy Global Professor of Classics, University of Warwick) ‘The Iconography of Attic Comedy’
  • Professor James Davidson (University of Warwick) ‘Assemblywomen as a source for history of sex and gender in Classical Athens’
  • Professor David Fearn (University of Warwick) ‘How to make a comic character’ (seminar)
  • Dr Natalia Tsoumpra (University of Glasgow) ‘Masculine women, feminine men: clothing, objectification, and gender expression in Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen

The day will start at 11.00 and end before 18.00. After Professor Scott's talk in the main auditorium, students will have the opportunity to attend two others, before a matinee performance at 15.30. This will be followed (at around 17.15) by a Q&A with the director and producer of the play.

The Schools Day, including the performance, is FREE, but attendees are asked to organise their own transportation and lunch.

School bookings

If you wish to book your pupils for this day with matinee performance, please email Xavier Buxton (xavier dot buxton at warwick dot ac dot uk), stating:

  1. the (approximate) number of participants, including teachers
  2. which afternoon talks you wish your pupils to attend

Xavier can also provide access and parking information, and answer other enquiries.

In previous years, the Schools Day has become fully booked very quickly, and so we operate a waiting list for those schools who apply after the booking limit has been reached. If the event is fully booked or the matinee is not convenient, schools may instead book for the evening performances on Thursday 26th (19.00), or Friday 27th (19.00). Tickets for both these performances (normally £6) will be reduced to £4.50 for sc​hool groups, and booking will commence on the 25th October. To make a school group booking for an evening performance, please email, cc'ing