Aims & Outcomes


To raise awareness of the legacy of the Ancient Greeks and their significance to our contemporary civilization


  • Examine the role of theatre and stories as an intrinsic cultural activity for The Ancient Greeks.
  • Explore the relationship between notions of democracy, mutual respect, the rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance.
  • Experience practical ensemble working that will require them to achieve consensus and resolve problems


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Summer 2017 tour:

Performed by Malcolm Jennings
Directed by Frances Land

The Greeks was originally devised by Steve Johnstone, John Flitcroft and Andrew Bannerman for Pentabus Theatre Company.

Masks and costume made by Andrew Purvin
Thanks to Kaye Wilton at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre for costume support.

Props painted by Emma Thompson.


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Programme Outline

BD21322_bw2The children arrive in the hall to see an actor from ancient Greece sat at a table studying a mask. The children sit in three lines approximately four metres away from the actor. The actor puts the mask on and delivers the opening speech of “Antigone” demonstrating the theatrical style of ancient Greece and setting the themes of the drama.

He breaks off. Something is wrong. He speaks with the children, he discovers he is not in Greece as he expected and the children need to understand the nature of theatre going in Ancient Greece.

The experience of theatre going in Greece is described and the actor realises that the children do not know the story of the play as he expected. He introduces the characters and the action of the early part of the play with the help of the children. They begin to enact the story.

He breaks off at the first entrance of the chorus the children who are to be the chorus do not know what to do again as he expected. The chorus leader (class teacher) is mildly admonished for poor preparation.

He trains (supported by teaching staff) the children to be the chorus through a series of exercises and rehearses them by dividing the class into four and giving a piece of text to each sub group. Each sub group selects two readers while the rest of the group devise actions that illustrate the words. Ideally the group acts as one making big, slow, controlled gestures while the lines are read out.

A rehearsal is held in which the children run through their scenes in sequence and the actor explains how the character speeches fit around the chorus speeches.

There is a short break.

The actor paints the scene and we run through a dress rehearsal with the actor performing the character speeches. The actor reveals that we now have to create the ending of the play and would like to incorporate something about democracy.

Possible endings are discussed and the children interview the characters to test out their ideas. Learning more from Antigone, arguing on her behalf and suggesting a vote to Creon and finally a soldier trying to persuade him to overthrow The King. The soldier refuses until inspired by notions of democracy. A new end for the play has been created. The drama ends anticipating the response to the new end of the play.


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