“But if all the women gather together, not just us, but the Pelopennesians and Boeotians as well, then united we can save Greece!”
A student cast from Nottingham New Theatre and Nottingham Lakeside Arts bring Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata to the stage this week.
Last seen at Nottingham Lakeside Arts in 2013, this latest adaptation of Lysistrata, directed by Martin Berry and based on a translation from the original text by Alan Sommerstein, is led by a commanding heroine who mobilises the women of Greece.
The ancient world is gripped by a seemingly interminable war. With the men of Athens serving in the forces, the women of the city can take no more. In secret they meet with the enemy women and form a pact. The battle moves into the bedroom. No sex for the men unless the women get peace.
Director Martin Berry, said: “Lysistrata is a 2,500 year old Greek comedy — a bawdy outrageous comedy — by Aristophanes. Sparta and Athens had been at war for 30-odd years, and Aristophanes reacted to this by writing this play, in which a woman, Lysistrata, gathers together all the women in Sparta and Athens, and all the islands of Greece, and convinces them to withhold sex from their partners and husbands, to convince the men to give up fighting.”
First performed in 411BC, this bawdy anti-war play remains one the great comedies. Layered with themes of feminism, power and politics, this contemporary adaptation is Nottingham Lakeside Arts sixth partnership with the University’s Students’ Union Nottingham New Theatre.
Student Lois Baglin, plays the lead role of Lysistrata. She said: “The Lysistrata rehearsal process is ‘different.’ And I think it has been so different because it’s much more of an improvisation process.
“We’ll be thrown into the scene, and we’re just asked to do it… how we’d imagine it. And then over time we further develop it, and focus on elements we really like, and steer away from others we don’t. So eventually we come up with ideas together, which I love. It’s very collaborative.”
The enduring appeal of Lysistrata comes from Aristophanes’ attention to the simple things that make us laugh. Audiences should expect to be entertained.
Martin added: “The cast are energised, imaginative and completely brilliant and they have come together beautifully to create something that is hilarious. It’s a ridiculous play! And it just stands up so well after all these years.”
The show runs from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 April 2018. Tickets are £15 (£13 concessions, £11 restricted view). Suitable for ages 14+, the show contains strong language and scenes of an adult nature.
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