Shrewsbury School

Classical Civilisation Trip to Warwick University Ancient Drama Festival 2020

Friday 31 January 2020

On Friday 31st January, eight pupils from the Upper Sixth who are studying Classical Civilisation attended the Ancient Drama Festival held at Warwick University, which culminated in a performance of the Sophoclean masterpiece ‘Oedipus The King’.

The play, regarded by Aristotle as the ‘blue-print’ for all other Greek tragedies, is a set text for students this year.

The innovative production, performed by current undergraduates, set the play in 1928 and had a city-noir twist. The arrogant West, fuelled by its industry, courses towards the Great Depression - themes reflected in Oedipus’ relationship with his own fate. Oedipus, King of Thebes, searches for the murderer of his predecessor, Laius. His city has become diseased and impoverished, destined to remain so until the killer is revealed. The investigation draws Oedipus towards a prophecy he has always dreaded. As the day darkens, fate begins to spiral out of his control.

Before this performance, which, as Aristotle dictated, left pupils feeling both pity and horror (before they faced the horror of the M6 on a Friday afternoon), Salopians spent the morning attending a series of lectures on Greek Theatre; this was useful for their A level, but also, looking beyond the Moss Gates on Ashton Road, gave them a taster of what university will be like, in terms of taking lecture notes!

Many thanks to Mr Clark for organising.

Paul Fitzgerald
Head of Classics

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