Oxford Ancient Theatre

For the easter and summer terms 2011 children in year six from the Barton estate in east Oxford took part in Iris's ancient theatre project. They learned about ancient theatre and its importance to ancient Greek civilisation in a series of workshops run by The Iris Project, and this culminated in a double-bill performance of Aristophanes' Birds and Frogs.

 

Frogs

Perhaps the best-loved and most famous of all Aristophanes' comedies, Frogs is the story of the god Dionysus and his slave Xanthias' journey into the underworld to find a poet to save the city from itself. On his way he meets friend and foe who help him in his journey from the hero Hercules to the god Pluto and the famous chorus of Frogs. It is at times hautingly sad but it never loses its sense of mischief and fun. Written as Athens faced total defeat at the hands of her arch-rivals Sparta at the end of a long war, the play is about the role of art in society, the old ways against the new. The play captures perfectly Aristophanes' unique mix of satire, fantasty and slap-stick. Once seen it is never forgotten.



Here are snippets of the performances at Bayards Hill Primary School, as well as interviews with the children.


The Iris Project
24 Green Ridges
Headington
Oxford
OX3 8PL

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