Posted in Uncategorized

Interview with our Producer Tom and the rest of the production team

A massive shout out to all our production team. Everybody’s been working so hard to ensure everything is ready for the big show. This week we’ve spoken to the producer Tom, and out two heads of costume Jaz and Sarah.

What are your responsibilities as producer?

Tom: My responsibilities as producer are pretty numerous even though a lot of it can just feel like schedule manager. My real job is essentially to make Kelsi’s creative role as Director as easy as possible. In effect this means coordinating with all the

various strands of the show’s fantastic management team to make sure that we’re realizing her vision as effectively and efficiently as possible.

It’s an unpredictable job a lot of the time but there’s something thrilling about being told by Kelsi that there’s nothing left to do…for now. I love it.

And how’s sourcing the props and costumes going?

Tom: Sourcing the props is a tricky task, making sure that everything works well together and that the set feels complete. Holly and Anna definitely have a knack for getting the items that make sense on the stage as well as finding absolutely fantastic bargains. Sarah and Jasmine in Costumes have had to work very hard getting the entire cast all measured for their costumes but they’ve certainly put the hours in. On the creative side too, they’ll spot things when shopping for their own clothes etc. that would fit in with the show- it’s brilliant.


What are your inspirations for the costumes?

Jaz and Sarah: Kelsi gave us a lot of the ideas to start us off, after that we looked online. Obviously this year, being a comedy, the costumes are a lot of fun and are very out there, with a lot of different colors and patterns going on. The frog chorus has been particularly fun to source the costumes for, as we want everyone to have different styles of the same costume.



Posted in Uncategorized

Interview with director Kelsi Russell

How are rehearsals going so far?

“Rehearsals have been amazing! The cast have been a dream to work with and have really responded well to the comedic text. The scenes we have worked on so far have been full of energy and slapstick humour.” 

How will this year’s play be different?

Kelsi Hard at Work with Clare and Hamish

“This year is the first time that we have decided to adapt a classical text  into a musical. When reading the Frogs, we felt that the energy and vibrancy of the text leant itself so well to an equally upbeat musical score. This has been a challenge in its self but so far everyone has risen to it and we have produced some amazing songs with the help of Kirk Hastings, our Musical director and composer.” 

Why did you choose the Frogs?

“I chose the Frogs as I felt it would be quite refreshing after performing Greek tragedies for the past two years. Aristophanes text stands out from any other scripts that we have chosen to work with and I felt it would be a good piece to help a young audience engage with the classical world.” 

How did you cast the Play?

“Everyone who auditioned showed amazing potential and talent so it was one of our hardest tasks yet to try and cast each role.”

Wilkie and Hamish in Rehearsal

“We are now however ecstatic with our two leads Hamish (Dionysus) and Wilkie (Xanthias) who have such great chemistry on stage that really shows in their comedic performance.”

Posted in Uncategorized

An Interview With Our Props and Costumes Team

On the day of our final show we have been talking to our props and costumes team; Jess and Beth, to reflect on their process of preparation for the show.

What were your inspirations with costume’s and stage designs? 26943664_1733735480027022_134447312_n
Beth: We wanted to hint to the story of Jason and Medea outside the time of the play itself. For example,  Jason’s golden fleece from his quest being reflected in the design of his wife’s gifts. Then a small boat being shown in the book case to symbolise Medea’s travels from a foreign land.
Jess: We wanted to physicalise Asha’s idea of encroaching nature throughout the show with the branches on stage and flowers on Medea’s dress.

How do you feel the first show went?
Jess: We felt that the stage was very effective, and the cast were able to interact with the props and setting well. I felt very privileged to have my work on the stage and being used practically.

Beth ~ “I was very proud and excited to finally have to audience see our work.”

How did you decide on each of the costumes for the characters?
Jess: We wanted each of the chorus members to be individuals, so to do this we gave them all unique costumes to match the character profiles we had them create. This included the career and even the name they imagined their character to have.
Beth: With Jason and Medea we had the idea of an inverse wedding with sophisticated outfits, and Med26996570_1733741430026427_195878709_nea in white as the bride. We then tried to show the other principle characters as the “wedding guests”.

Posted in Uncategorized

An Interview With Our Media Managers

Today we have been talking to our Media managers, Sarah and Kelsi, on the opening night of ‘Medea’. We have been discussing the various social media projects they have been working on throughout the rehearsal process and how they are feeling during the run up to our first show. 

Have you enjoyed working with the cast so far on the show?

26940786_1732452946821942_21219591_nSarah: As classic students, we have enjoyed applying our different skill sets outside of the course to a play that we know and love.

Kelsi: Its been an amazing experience to apply ideas and themes that we have discussed in class to a physical performance on stage.

Kelsi ~ “Its been a privilege to watch the show develop over time into what we can finally show the audience tonight.”

Can you explain the process of developing a social media account and blog to document the rehearsal process?

Sarah: After using WordPress for several years, I decided to help out, creating a website dedicated to the show. I aimed then to create a visual theme, in keeping with our 27042791_1732452943488609_600462697_ndirector’s artistic vision of Medea, with a minimalist style and black and white colour scheme.

Kelsi: I then used this style again with our Instagram account, to ensure all social media was integrated, highlighting the strong themes and aesthetics of the play.

When documenting the process, what were the key aspects of this project you wished to highlight?

Kelsi: I wanted to focus on the development of characters through out the rehearsal process, showing our viewers the depth of characterisation for all the cast. I then wanted to also show the interaction between our creative team and the cast as they progress from the first rehearsal to opening night.

26996158_1732452993488604_827260367_nWhat were your aims in creating the graphic design for the play?

Sarah: I wanted to create a book case which imitated an antique theme, but was still able to be created through Photoshop.

Sarah ~ “We were set on this idea of a bookcase to display the interplay of knowledge and nature, mirrored with the development of Medea’s character.”


Posted in Uncategorized

Medea And Jason

This week we have been talking to our two leads; the infamous Medea and Jason, played by Holly Cowan and Oli Sheard, respectively. With a matter of days before opening night, we reflect on the process so far and their views on “Medea”.

26755364_1725117007555536_1749403960_nGiven the fact that its now only a matter of days before our first show, how would you both describe the rehearsal process so far?

Oli: It’s been a very relaxed environment allowing my characterisation of Jason to develop into its final form in line with the setup of the play itself.

Holly: I’ve loved it, Asha has been an amazing director to work with and the entire cast has been very supportive over the past few weeks.

Holly ~”It’s a great atmosphere at rehearsals and the fun I have during them has helped me remember why I love performing.”

What are your favourite scenes and why? 

Holly: Definitely the first time we see Medea and Jason meet on stage. Here we see the root of the plot as the two confront each other face to face. I feel that the emotions displayed here are the most relatable of all that are shown. We see her in a raw emotional state, her anger, sadness, disbelief and acknowledgment of her mistake in following Jason from Colchis, which really allows me to get carried away when playing her. We too see Jason’s character, an arrogant and self-justified man who lacks the empathy to understand any of her feelings, only making them worse. The resentment and anger the pair have towards each other makes26994764_1730738510326719_1327843864_n it incredibly fun to do.

How would you both describe the dynamics between Jason and Medea throughout the play?

Oli: Medea and Jason’s relationship is obviously a very difficult one. The disagreement between the two of them, in my eyes, is set up because 26696958_1725113414222562_599076842_nof emotions he feels towards Glauce which he doesn’t know how to process and as such attempts to find reasoning for the actions that he commits.

What were your inspirations when preparing and performing your characters?

Oli: I didn’t really look at other interpretations or like characters before attempting to find my own.

Oli ~ “I just tried to feel my way through the character in order to portray him as less of an innately evil man that many presume him to be and explore his more relatable human aspects.”

Holly: Having studied the play in depth at A level, I already had a clear idea of how I see Medea as a character, and from reading around the play I knew that I needed to steer clear of a portrayal that sees her a mad, because she isn’t. You can see her thought process in every scene and she is entirely rational in her decisions, her pride in fact is overcome by her horror over what she is about to do. We see a very human side to her as well as an almost supernatural part of her and I think it is vital for me to portray bot aspects equally.

Would you say that ‘Medea’ is still relevant today, regarding Jason and Medea’s relationship?

Oli: Yes I’d sa26940714_1730744193659484_1914118286_ny it is relevant. There is always going to be relationship drama between two individuals when love is involved, it’s a theme explored today in modern media, just as much as it was in the 4th century BC.

How would you say you have made the characters accessible for a modern audience?

Holly: Whilst (hopefully) no one in the audience might relate to her actions by the end of the play, I’m sure at least a few of them can understand her feelings of betrayal by Jason. She loved him and he abandoned her for another woman. I feel it is so important to highlight not only her anger with her husband, but also the sadness and shock she feels through her loss of their life26855541_1730742476992989_864699134_n together. I hope my portrayal of her will achieve at least some sympathy from the audience in the first portion of the performance, and allow them to see her as someone who is deeply hurt by Jason, instead of simply an angry child killer.

Posted in Uncategorized

BFT’s Azilis Denigot on Directing our Trailer for Medea 2018

Hi Azilis – it’s great to chat to you today about our upcoming trailer for Medea! Now we’re nearing its release, how did you approach your role as trailer director?

24337518_10210172214973022_262759665_nI was really excited to direct the trailer and planned everything during pre-production so I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to look when it came to actually shooting. We communicated closely as a crew (especially our camera operator and editor) so that we were all on-board with what I wanted, whilst also giving everyone creative freedom and allowing them to share any ideas they might have.

I really enjoyed collaborating with Asha to understand exactly what the play was about and what her modern take on it was. She had brilliant ideas for the trailer and was really helpful during pre-production and the shoot.

What were your creative influences?

After Asha shared her vision for the play and sent me a few pictures for inspiration, I could already picture the trailer’s strong visual elements and overall atmosphere.

“I would say the biggest creative influence I had was Tessa Violet’s music video entitled ‘Haze’.”

I remember watching it when it first came out and Asha’s description of the play made me think of it – I watched it again right before shooting!

Family Photographs

What is your favourite image from the trailer? 

A few of the shots I really liked were of Holly (Medea) smearing the black and red powder-paint on her dress. My particular favourite is the final image where Holly is behind a tree and looks back at the camera… – but I don’t want to give too much away!




How does your trailer tell us more about Medea?

“Our aim was to help the audience to understand her mental decline and progression (or rather, digression) into near insanity. We hope the trailer will convey her internal struggle and drive for revenge.”

What challenges did you face translating Medea, as a piece of Ancient Greek theatre, into an appealing modern trailer?

When Asha explained how she was translating the play for a modern audience, this removed most of the challenges we would have otherwise faced! Asha wanted to focus on nature in particular, so we decided to shoot in a forest near a lake. The costume was also very modern, but with subtle Ancient Greek inspiration.Holly Cowan as Medea

Posted in Interviews

Warwick Classics Society President, Harvey Aungles, Talks All Things Medea

This week, we have been chatting to our Classics Society President, Harvey Aungles, about our upcoming production of Medea, how we can use Ancient Greek theatre to keep classics innovative and relevant to younger generations today, and how he’s feeling about his Hitchcock-esque ensemble cameo!

Thanks for talking to us today Harvey, it’s great to have the opportunity to interview our President! The Warwick Classics Play has always been one of the biggest events organised by the Classics Society. We were wondering, why do you think it plays such an important role?

IMG_6060 copy

I think the play is so important to Warwick Classics Society because when we study tragedies like Medea, and even Aristophanic comedies the way we do at university, it can be so easy to lose sight of these works as living plays rather than simply words on a page!


“Putting on a play like this allows us to show to the wider world, and rediscover for ourselves, that these plays are pieces of vibrant art which are meant to challenge us and evoke emotions in us in a way only a living, breathing work can.”

The chance for everyone to see the power of these plays first hand is something which is absolutely essential to keeping people interested in the Classical world and showing everyone, ourselves included, why Classics is still exciting and relevant today.

How do you think the Classics Play will allow Warwick University to engage with the local community more?

Well this year more than ever we have reached out to as many schools in the local community as possible and have tried especially to offer the chance to see the play to young people who may not have any other opportunity to engage with Classical drama.

“I believe that offering as many people as possible the chance to discover the classical world is the key to keeping Classics fresh and cutting edge as a discipline.”

After all, these plays were originally written for the whole population of a city, so making sure today that new people from all walks of life discover them is the best way to expose fresh perspectives and interpretations.


Do you think it is important to make Classics relevant to younger generations? 

This question reminds me of a comment made by my lecturer just last week. We were discussing the Classical Civilisation A Level and they ended the conversation by saying “it has saved modern Classics”. I can’t tell you enough how much I agree and how much the exposure of the Classics generated by this A Level and other avenues has kept the subject alive. I think Classics at its core will always have something relevant to say to younger generations, it’s just a case of making sure someone in those generations is still listening. The play is a perfect example of this, after all so much of it is about those timeless human emotions:

“we can feel Medea’s rage and Jason’s loss just as well today as anyone ever could.”

The play is essential for showing people that they can find something of themselves in Greek drama and making sure we see Classics as what it ultimately is: people talking about the things which make us human.


I hear that you’ll be making a cameo in the play! How are you finding the rehearsals so far? 

I am! Rehearsals have been so much fun so far and I’ve been completely blown away by all the work and skill that has already gone into everything. Asha, Gaby, and the whole creative crew have an amazing vision of the final production and the cast have been great at putting their all into making that vision come out in the performance. I can tell anyone thinking of buying a ticket now that you’ll definitely be in for a treat!