Classicists explore ancient themes through a modern lens at Bloomsbury Theatre

Classicists explore ancient themes through a modern lens at Bloomsbury Theatre

8 February 2024

Imo P W, Upper Sixth

On Wednesday 7 February, Sixth Form Latin and classical civilisation students watched Euripides’ Bacchae – an A Level set text - at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. The production was brilliantly done, with the play interpreted from a modern view while maintaining many of the classical elements. It highlighted key themes including fate versus free will, the power of the gods, contemporary societal attitudes towards religion, and the role of women in both religion and society, along with many more ideas we study at A Level. It was good revision for our upcoming mocks and gave the Lower Sixth students further insight into the course.

Before this amazing production, we had the chance to amble around the British Museum, exploring the Ancient Greek and Roman sections (as is expected of us classicists) and finding artefacts either included in our respective courses or directly correlated with them. My particular favourite was a stone carving of Aeneas and Ascanius arriving on the founding place of Rome with the Trojans and discovering the white sow, as seen in Book Eight Virgil’s Aeneid.

We also had the delight of visiting the Wellcome Collection to see The Cult of Beauty exhibition, which highlights important themes such as body image, the toxic beauty industry, and subverting beauty. It also included many classical references which will help us when studying the role of women in ancient society, such as an area of exhibits focusing on the Esquiline Venus statue and how many deemed the sculpture as the image of the ideal female body.

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