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Never Mind Mrs Brown’s Boys, a 5th Century BC Play Shows Cross-Dressing Comedy Stands the Test of Time

Classics students at the University of Warwick will perform a brand new translation of an Aristophanes’ satire Thesmophoriazusae at Warwick Arts Centre later this month. The play is a bawdy satire about the battle of the sexes. Famous tragedian Euripides is sent-up by colleague and peer Aristophanes in this cross-dressing comedy where he has him infiltrating the Thesmophoria - a women-only festival. The women are angry at Euripides for spreading false rumours about their behaviour (his work presented women as mad, murderous and depraved!) and are plotting their revenge. 

Thesmophoriazusae or ‘Women at Thesmophoria’ is one of only eleven surviving plays by the ‘master of old comedy’ Athenian playwright Aristophanes and was first performed in 411 BC.

Newly translated by Classics Department teaching fellow Clive Letchford, the play will be performed to the public on Monday January 26th, with an additional private performance for local schools the following evening.

 Thomas Boehmer, Classics student at the University of Warwick and Director of this new production, said: “This has been a really exciting project to be involved in – this brand new translation from the Ancient Greek really shows just how relevant these comedies still are.

“It’s been fascinating to be a part of this production, and we are really looking forward to performing it to the public.”

 Dr Michael Scott, Outreach Officer in Department of Classics, said "Warwick Classics students are at the forefront of showing how the antics of the ancient world are relevant for today - we are hugely proud of what they have achieved.”

Tickets for the performance on 26th January can be purchased directly from Warwick Arts Centre Box office or via their website The performance begins at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £4.50.

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