Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small ScreenPublished: 22 May 2012
In June the BFI is launching a season of rarely-seen-before TV productions of Greek tragedy, offering a fascinating range of approaches to screen presentations of ancient Greece in association with Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television, an AHRC-funded research project based in the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster. These plays laid the very foundations of dramatic form and still speak so powerfully over two and a half millennia, but adaptations have now completely disappeared from our TV screens. From the first documented British television production of the genre in 1958, a moving Women of Troy with a set dressed to look like a refugee camp (BBC), around 25 richly interesting classical dramas were transmitted across BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The most recent major production was Don Taylor’s 1990 BBC presentation of Iphigenia at Aulis, starring a magisterial Fiona Shaw. During the season audiences will not only be able to see Iphigenia at Aulis on the big screen, but also see Fiona Shaw take part in a Q&A and panel discussion exploring the rich history of Greek plays on British TV.
Also, on Friday 22 June 2012 Screen Plays will host a symposium on Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at the University of Westminster. This afternoon event will draw together the emerging strands of the season through a series of talks by experts in the field, an interview with a practitioner and a screening of a previously unseen early 1960s BBC Schools programme on Greek tragedy.Confirmed speaker include:
- Dr Lynn Fotheringham of the University of Nottingham
- Professor Lorna Hardwick of The Open University
- Dr Tony Keen of The Open University
- Professor Oliver Taplin of the University of Oxford
- Dr Amanda Wrigley of the University of Westminster
The event will be chaired by John Wyver of the University of Westminster. The registration fee for the symposium is £5. To register, please contact email@example.com.