Classics come to life

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Families can enjoy learning about the worlds of ancient Rome and Greece this weekend at a day of activities, lectures and performances for all ages hosted by the University of St Andrews.

The Classics Fun Day (Saturday 21 April), organised by the University’s School of Classics and Theatre Odyssey, is a free all- day charity event. In the morning, children will be able to make their own hoplite shields – just like Greek soldiers used more than 2,000 years ago. There will also be a storytelling session for children, relating the myths of the ancient world.

Two lecturers from the School of Classics will speak, Dr Rebecca Sweetman on the archaeology of ancient Athens, and Dr Jon Coulston on Ancient Rome. Professor Robert Crawford of the School of English will deliver a guest lecture on reconnecting with the Greek world.

A demonstration of traditional Greek dancing will be followed by a chance for visitors to try it themselves. This session will be held in the morning and then repeated in the afternoon.

In the evening, there will be dramatic performances of ancient stories. ‘The Ballad of Odysseus’, a dramatic retelling of some of the most popular episodes in Homer’s ancient epic ‘The Odyssey’, sold out its performance earlier this year at the STANZA poetry festival. Theatre Odyssey will also perform an adaptation for the stage of the tale of Orpheus and Euridike from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. Ovid tells the tale of Orpheus, so distraught at the death of his wife that he ventures to the underworld and attempts to bring her back with the power of his music.

In between the performances will be a classical twist on a popular TV game show – “Delos or No Delos?”

The day’s events will be held at All Saints Church Hall, just off North Street, opposite the Castle Tavern. The entire day is free and the event is being held to raise funds for the Ann Conroy Trust and the Fife Healthy Living and Sensory Awareness Project.

Theatre Odyssey is a seven-year- old non-profit community theatre group devoted to the Classics, founded in St Andrews. It promotes the Greek and Roman worlds through performance, storytelling and workshops in schools. Recent productions include its 2006 twelve- hour ‘Homerathon’ presentation of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’ to raise money for charity.

The schedule is as follows:

10.30am Children’s Workshop I – Construct your very own hoplite shield! We’ll provide everything you need.

11.00am Greek Dancing I – First a demonstration, then have your go at a traditional dance.

12.00pm Children’s Workshop II – Mythical Adventures Your chance to enter the world of myth with interactive storytelling.

2.00pm Live lectures from the University’s School of Classics – Dr Rebecca Sweetman and Dr Jon Coulston.

3.00pm Reconnecting with the Greek World, a talk by our guest lecture, Robert Crawford.

4pm Greek Dancing II Another chance to enjoy traditional dancing!

5pm The Ballad of Odysseus Your second chance to see this STANZA hit. Suitable for everyone 8 and above.

6pm Delos or No Delos? A classical twist on a game show classic!

7pm Orpheus and Euridike A dramatic adaptation from Ovid’s famous ‘Metamorphoses’.




Issued by Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact 01334 467227 / 462529

Ref: Classics Fun day 190407

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