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Sirens

Having sadly missed it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Megan got to see Zoo Co Theatre Company and their excellent show Sirens at Greenwich Theatre in early September - Fusing creative captions, projections and visual storytelling to create a modern and accessible take on the Greek myth, the show tells the story of three sirens who find themselves washed up in Hastings in 2018, and the ensuing chaos that follows. Catch it if you can!

 

Arts Council England bid

We submitted an ACE application in September for the first phase of development of our aerial Medea, and have our fingers firmly crossed for a positive outcome!

 

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Image from Medea, piloted in 2013 at Rose Theatre Kingston

 

Support for Medea

We have begun exciting conversations with a number of venues and programmers about support for the show, and we are always interested in developing new relationships and talking about collaborations too - For commissioning, programming or booking enquires contact Megan at megan@actorsofdionysus.com

 

workshop dynamic

 

Free drama and classics workshops

Our free workshops have all been snapped up and we are looking forward to taking them to a number of state schools and colleges in London. The initiative is part of our commitment to keeping the Classics alive and accessible, and has been made possible by kind funding from the Four Acre Trust and our supporters.

 

25th birthday party

We are marking our 25th anniversary with a celebration (drinks, canapés and rehearsed readings) at Canary Wharf on the 15th November. For further details contact megan@actorsofdionysus.com

 

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Performance Lecture, 12th November

We are delighted to be discussing our 25 years of work in a performance lecture at the University of Oxford on the 12th November. Join us for this exciting event as we perform extracts from our repertoire of productions and celebrate our 25 years as a charity and theatre company. Tickets are free and there is no booking required - We hope to see you there!

 

Workshop and free DVD offer

CALLING ALL TEACHERS… Book one of our tailor-made workshops for your students and receive a free DVD of our 2017 production of Antigone - Two fabulous learning resources in one package and perfect for exam preparation! We only have five DVDs to give away, so take advantage and book a workshop today - Contact megan@actorsofdionysus.com for more information.

 

Antigone

 

The Lehman Trilogy

With thanks to the immense generosity of our Honorary Patron Simon Russell Beale, Tamsin and a lucky auction prize winner of ours recently enjoyed an evening at The National Theatre to watch The Lehman Trilogy in which Simon stars. This very special prize consisted of top-price tickets to the show plus the chance to meet Simon himself for a post-show drink - Priceless. The show plays until the 20th October, and for tickets click the link above.

 

Classical Association blog

aod is featured in this month's Classical Association blog, where Megan talks about our free workshop project - You can read the article here

 

Give as You Live

There’s still time to sign up to Give as You Live for free to donate to aod when you shop online, at no extra cost to you. All donations are very gratefully received, and because it costs you nothing, it’s a win win! You can sign up using the link above.

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We’ll be back soon with an October catch up!

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Mark Katz and Tamsin Shasha were interviewed on Seahaven FM (Thurs 21st Sep) by Roy Stannard on The Whole Nine Yards where they both got the chance to chose 10 favourite tracks each, explaining why they had meaning for them. Mark and Tamsin followed in auspicious footsteps - previous guests have included as diverse individuals as the late Denis Healey and Mike Kerr of the rock band Royal Blood.

You can hear the interviews here:

https://www.mixcloud.com/roystannard/tw9y-20918-hour-1-tamsin-shasha-mark-katz-actors-of-dionysius-with-roy-stannard-at-seahaven-fm/

https://www.mixcloud.com/roystannard/tw9y-20918-hour-2-tamsin-shasha-mark-katz-actors-of-dionysius-with-roy-stannard-on-seahaven-fm/

If you like the recording please help us to promote the show by tweets and facebook links https://www.facebook.com/roystannard
https://www.facebook.com/seahavenfm

 

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FENELLA
 
Message from the Artistic Director, Tamsin Shasha
 
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death, on Wednesday, of our great friend and collaborator Fenella Fielding.  We had the pleasure of working with Fenella on a number of projects including Savage Beauty at the Other Palace (formerly St James Theatre) and The Sweetness of Honey CD (a collection of Sappho poetry set to music).  She had an indomitable spirit and a wicked sense of humour and was forever regaling us with anecdotes from her past.  If there was anyone you could persuade you to believe she would carry on working forever it was her.  She never wanted to stop.  She was also a lovely person to share afternoon tea with at Bafta and I for one will miss her candour, generosity, passion and kindness.  She was a special lady indeed.  We have her voice to remember her by and her spirit lives on in our hearts.
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As the summer draws to a close, we thought we’d start a monthly blog to warm your cockles and keep you updated about all things aod!

 

Edinburgh Festival

August was full of all things theatrical - Tamsin and Megan briefly visited the Edinburgh festival and saw some fantastic and inspiring pieces of work; highlights included Rhum and Clay’s Mistero Buffo, The Lampoon’s House on Haunted Hill and Paines Plough’s Island Town.

 

Clown, Clown and Pigeon

One of our wonderful collaborators, Katherine Sturt-Scobie, presented Clown, Clown and Pigeon at The Hope Theatre in August with the theatre company Bee in my Beanie. This is the company’s second show and it saw them tackle three stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, inspired by characters from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and drawing on traditional clowning and Commedia Dell’Arte. We loved this exciting show and wish the company every success.

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Image from Medea, piloted in 2013 at Rose Theatre Kingston

 

Medea, 2019

At aod HQ we are busy planning for our aerial version of Medea which will tour nationally in autumn 2019 - We are really excited about re-developing the show which piloted in 2013 at Rose Theatre Kingston, and are working on a dynamic Arts Council bid for the development of the project. For commissioning and programming enquires contact Megan at megan@actorsofdionysus.com

 

Donation initiative

Because of our commitment to education work the Four Acre Trust offered us a brilliant double your money donation initiative, where new donors to aod had their donations doubled by the trust - We raised £1200 and want to thank our supporters and the Four Acre Trust for their generosity. Money raised will go toward our educational outreach programme.

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Will Bridges running a free workshop at Alexandra Park School

 

Free drama and classics workshops

 

The whole workshop was wonderful! We are rarely able to have workshops because of the expense so thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.

Archbishop Tenison’s School

 

We have a number of tailor made free workshops up for grabs at schools and colleges in inner and outer London. Workshops are perfect for drama and classics students and we work with a variety of source texts such as Antigone and Lysistrata. Contact Megan for booking information. This project is supported by the Four Acre Trust and has been made possible by kind donations from our friends and supporters.

 

Educational resources

We have received kind grants from the Jowett Copyright Trust and the Classical Association to produce free online educational resources for students, and work has begun on developing these.  The interactive resources will primarily assist drama teachers and students in their teaching and learning of the classics, but will also be useful for classics teachers and students.

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Give as You Live

By signing up to Give as You Live for free, you can donate to aod when you shop online, at no extra cost to you. Signing up is quick and easy to do, and the tool bar which automatically informs you when you can raise money is ingenious! All donations are very gratefully received, and because it costs you nothing, it’s a win win! You can sign up using the link above.

We’ll be back soon with a September catch up!

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At aod HQ we are busy planning for a new, radical aerial version of Medea.

‘Let nothing stop you from seeing them’
The Times

Medea piloted in 2013, supported by The Rose Theatre Kingston. Six years on we are redeveloping the production, working collaboratively with a new writer, director, designer and cast. We are developing the aerial and wall running elements of the production, emboldening these vital aspects to create our most ambitious show to date.

Featuring a strong element of choral singing, (dissonance and harmony - including Balkan, Georgian, Corsican and Greek songs) our Medea will get to the emotional heart of the story and under the skin of our heroine. This exhilarating adaptation will combine powerful storytelling with aerial dance and live singing in a tense psychological drama of jealousy and revenge.

Medea will be accompanied by a varied educational outreach programme of workshops, talkbacks and a DVD of the show which will not only appeal to students studying the play, but also to modern audiences who love exciting takes on the Classics.

We are looking for commissioning partners to support the show; for commissioning and programming enquiries contact megan@actorsofdionysus.com

To view the pilot trailer click here


aod is a registered Charity (no. 1044532) and a theatre company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (no. 3002661)

actorsofdionysus.com

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Our Artistic Director Tamsin Shasha has joined forces with Circus Artist Maisy Taylor to create a fantastic piece of aerial theatre, commissioned by The Lowry for its Week 53 Festival of incredible, international work for the compulsively curious. 

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The show, Everything I See I Swallow, is an aerial examination of a mother and daughter’s sexuality fusing corde lisse and the erotic art of Japanese rope tying – shibari.

Recreating an aerial playground in the scene doc, their audiences will ask if this an art installation, an intellectual discourse on the timeless battle between female sexuality, young and old, or a poetic journey between a mother and daughter as they navigate some of life’s big questions? Perhaps it is all three.  

In a world where the hashtag “Me Too” becomes a rallying cry against female sexual harassment how does a women defend the objectification of her own body and the gaze from those around her? How are the lines drawn and how is the rope tied?  

At times provocative, at times erotic, at times playful - Everything I see I Swallow is an unusual and compelling encounter.

 

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Photos by The Other Richard and the Lowry

The show sold out before its first performance which is really exciting, and audience feedback has been fantastic:

"Erotic, beautiful, challenging"
"Beautiful and powerfully affecting...for all women, mothers especially"
"Unique experience of a subject never explored in this type of art form"
"It’s not often that you get to see a work like this. It was empowering, beautiful, it asked questions and it explored vital family relationships...I am really pleased to see a circus performance that ‘has something to say’"

 
For more information and to contact Tamsin and Maisy about booking Everything I See I Swallow, click here

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Photos by @ThatTallGinger

 

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Actors of Dionysus is a registered charity and theatre company; since 1993 we have toured new theatrical adaptations of ancient Greek drama and new writing inspired by classical mythology, and we deliver an Educational Programme of workshops, talks and performances to schools and colleges across the country. 

This year we have received funding via The Big Give Christmas Challenge for our Antigone Educational Engagement Programme, which will enable us to deliver 20 free Classics and drama workshops to schools and colleges in inner and outer London where students would not normally have access to facilities and material like this to support their learning.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bishop-Thomas-Grant-School.jpg St Marylebone School2 Alexandra Park School2

We are offering the following free workshops to Key Stage 4 and 5 students, using Antigone as a source text:

* General Classics workshops examining conventions of Greek staging

* From Text to Performance

* The Tragic Hero

* A Chorus of Approval

* A Drama oriented workshop looking at methods of devising and improvisation

Workshops will be hands on, inclusive, participatory and lots of fun!

Workshops may be tailor-made to suit the requirements of the venue to include the specific areas that you would like to cover. Workshops are free but we are asking for an optional £20.00 donation to help towards travel and admin costs.

”It was impressive how much information and practical work was covered in a two hour workshop. The students were able to produce exciting and thought-provoking performance work in a very short space of time”

Paul Webster, Performing Arts and Drama Subject Advisor, Edexcel

To take advantage of this offer, please contact: megan@actorsofdionysus.com

aod is a registered Charity (no. 1044532)

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We are delighted to let you know thataodexceeded its target in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
THANK YOU to all of you who supported our project and helped us reach our goal - we are very grateful!
More information will follow regarding the engagement programme in the New Year.
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The Big Give logo

 

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION to Actors of Dionysus and help us deliver educational workshops in 20 inner and outer city London schools.

aod is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017,

the UK’s largest match funding campaign.

OUR GOAL £4000

To raise £4000 we need new donations of £2000 between

12pm Tuesday 28th November and 12pm Tuesday 5th December.

Every pound we raise online up to £2000 will be matched by a Big Give sponsor.

Participate in 2 easy stages

  1. Save these key times and dates: Add a reminder to your calendar to visit https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/project/aod during this period to make payment.
  2. Make payment by credit card during this period by going to our website above. You will automatically be directed to the Big Give website. Make sure you have your credit card details ready to make your donation.

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Antigone Educational Engagement Programme - aod’s Christmas Challenge

The money we raise through the Christmas Challenge will be spent on providing high quality educational and practical Classics workshops as support for students in schools, youth groups and higher education in London, focusing on those who are considered to be in disadvantaged areas. This will allow us to:

  • Deliver 20 practical, hands-on educational Classics workshops in inner and outer London, each one created to suit the needs of the participants.
  • Increase understanding and appreciation of Classical Greek Drama therefore keeping them alive and providing access for young people who would not normally have the opportunity.
  • Enable us to share our skills and knowledge with new schools in inner and outer London, thus increasing our educational database.
  • Correspond with schools drama syllabuses and offer Teachers a vital learning and examination resource. 

Even if you have already donated this year, please think about giving just £5.00 - or even £500.00 - more, knowing that for one week only your donation will be doubled by a Big Give sponsor.

Spread the word: Please tell anyone who you think might be interested in supporting us, to visit the project at

Click here to visit the Project >

Thank you from everyone at aod!

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Ray of sunlight, draw closer, burn brighter, blaze stronger still.

Penetrate the dawn’s sky and shine forth on seven-gated Thebes.

Dazzle the river Dirce, arrogantly, proudly admiring the reflection of your beauty,

your majesty in its streams.

Casting the messenger, deliverance herself,

striving forth from the plains of Argos in the reflected glory of the skies.

 

aod are seeking up to 12 actor participants to take part in an exciting pilot training project supported by Arts Council England, exploring ancient Greek tragedy with particular reference to the play Antigone.

Having evidenced a major gap in actor training in working on Greek Classics this project will provide an immersive and accessible experience for performers, offering 10 - 12 FREE places on a 8 day course (split over a period of 8 weeks) culminating in a performance experience at Brighton Fringe at the beginning of June. At this pilot stage we are able to offer this training experience (Valued at £1100 pp) at no cost to participants for free.

We are specifically looking to work with professional performers  with no background in Greek theatre, and no real experience of studying classics. Our research shows that those who are state educated or trained outside of the top 6 drama schools are at a disadvantage as Greek Classics are not part of the curriculum.

OUR AIM in this training is to equip actors with a more in-depth knowledge and experience of this great canon of work while providing a benefit in terms of communications skills both within the industry and in the wider world. 

12 participants on the pilot course will engage with our practitioners in a series of workshops, tutorials, mentoring sessions and rehearsals. They will work with 4 creative leaders incl a mentored Asst Dir and have exposure to 2 companies (aod and Fitzrovia Chapel). They will develop skills to work creatively with classic text, themes and styles.

We welcome applications from professional performers of all ages and backgrounds.

Applicants must be available for all sessions below and will be asked to provide feedback via anonymous survey at the end of the programme. Please note sessions take place in London and Brighton.

 

Thursday 20th April (Afternoon time TBC, London)                    Audition / casting confirmation

Tuesday 2nd or Friday 5th May (1/2 day TBC, London)              AOD lead session (ancient Greek drama workshop)

Friday 12th May  (AM ½ day, London)                                      Communication in Performance Session

Saturday 20th May (Brighton)                                                 Movement in Classics Session / Rehearsal

Sunday 28th May (Brighton)                                                   Company Training Rehearsal incorporating chorus workshop

Monday 29th May (Brighton)                                                   Company Training Rehearsal

Friday 2nd June    (Brighton)                                                   Company Training Rehearsal/industry showing

Saturday 3rd June (Brighton)                                                   PERFORMANCE

SUNDAY 4th June (Brighton)                                                    PERFORMANCE

To apply for a place on this pilot training programme:

  • Send your CV to info@actorsofdionysus.com by midday, Friday 7th April
  • Confirm your availability for all dates.
  • Include a ‘tweet length’ thought of the meaning of courage.
  • If you use twitter follow @FayeCHughes @aodtheatre with your thoughts on the meaning of courage
  • Record the Chorus text at the top of this page, either by audio or video and send with your application
  • Recording can be done via mobile phone, web cam or whatever you have
  • Please label your video file with your surname followed by your initials

NB The deadline for applications is Friday 7th April

 

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This is an exclusive charity fund-raising event - PLEASE GET IN TOUCH  for further information and how to book.

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ACTORS OF DIONYSUS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PROGRAMME

aod is seeking an Assistant Director to help create our new production of ANTIGONE and follow the creative process from its Research and Development in February 2017 through to its national tour in September - November 2017.

aod specialises in new adaptations of ancient Greek Drama in English translation and new writing performances inspired by myth. Our passion is to ensure that this intrinsic part of our dramatic heritage remains accessible to modern audiences both nationally and internationally, in theatres, in schools and beyond.

In keeping with this, aod seeks to make new work that connects with epic stories, creating contemporary performance that combines emotional impact with formal innovation. At the heart of our work is a desire to challenge audience perceptions transforming ancient themes into relevant, urgent and powerful theatre.

We are not looking for applicants with large amounts of experience. The position would suit a recent graduate or young/early-career director with less than one year’s experience in eg. fringe directing or similar. You will not necessarily have trained extensively in directing.

The program provides the assistant director:

  • The opportunity to assistant-direct on aod’s new production of Antigone, and watch the production through from its current early stages of research and development to its formal rehearsal and national tour in Autumn 2017.
  • A two-week tailored training programme observing day to day running of the theatre, attending planning and management meetings and spending time in departments such as marketing, production and development.
  • Hands-on experience of working with the Education and Workshops wing of the company on learning how to deliver a programme of work for schools inspired by the material they have assisted on.
  • Mentoring during the placement designed to develop and further your skills.

We are looking for a passionate and self-motivated individual with:

A provable and demonstrable interest in directing and learning more about the development process of a new work or adaptation of a classical text; the ability to be supportive and sensitive in the rehearsal room; a passion for the classical world and the texts of Greek tragedy coupled with an excitement about reimagining these and making them new and comprehensible for audiences today; an interest in understanding how a theatre company operates; a willingness to engage in and assist with the devising element of the initial R&D process (transcribing material, research, assisting with communications between members of the creative team, assisting the writer where necessary, providing the Artistic Director with regular updates; easy access to London.

Any experience or interest in physical theatre, movement and dance is a positive, but not necessary.

We will provide meals, travel, and expenses for the R&D period and accommodation if required. Should you follow the process into the touring stage Sep - Nov, you will be included on the Arts Council bid for the touring stage of the process and your costs and a fee will be offered.

Dates:

Research and Development period 13th - 24th February 2017

How to apply:

The application will require a CV and a short covering email detailing:

  • What the opportunity will mean in terms of your evolution as a theatre-maker.
  • Any relevant experience and why you are interested in assisting for aod on a new touring production.
  • Please clearly confirm that you are fully available for the relevant dates.

The closing date for applications is noon on Fri 3rd Feb 2017.

A shortlist of candidates will be invited to meet Antigone director Justin Murray and company Artistic Director, Tamsin Shasha in London in the following week.

Please send your application for the attention of Justin Murray at justin@actorsofdionysus.com.

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SHE DENIED NOTHING

As war escalates the Theban military take over the chapel, forcing its lay preachers to increase their productivity and administer burial rights with military precision. Once a place of sanctuary and spirituality, the chapel becomes an extension of the war zone where tradition is compromised to ensure efficiency.

The Military women, running the campaign and managing the hospital as the men return bloodied from the front, struggle to balance their maternal instincts and desire to nurture with the military process.

‘She Denied Nothing’ sees two women working together for the war effort turn on each other as it emerges one had a hand in the rebellious, illegal act of a princess.

An immerse experience at the Brighton Fringe. This provocative theatrical installation, created for the festival, immerses the audience as the ‘walking wounded’ in a military hospital during the Theban civil war. Linked to Sophocles classic 'Antigone' this groundbreaking new drama is the brainchild of Fitzrovia Chapel Director, Faye Hughes.

'Writes dialogue I wish I was clever enough to say' (The London Paper)

'There are no words. Go and see it' (Evening Standard)

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We’re delighted to announce that aod has been awarded Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England
to research and develop our new Antigone project in February.

This is huge news for us and we’re incredibly grateful to the Arts Council for the support.

Watch this space in the coming weeks as we assemble our Antigone team and head into new and exciting creative territory...

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tttDonate to Actors of Dionysus on theBigGive.org.uk from 12pm on #GivingTuesday 29th November and your donation will be doubled!

aod is taking part in the Christmas Challenge, the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign which helps UK-registered charities raise funds for their cause.

The campaign is run by the Big Give which was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Alec Reed in 2007. Since the Big Give launched the campaign in 2008, it has raised over £71 million for more than 2,500 charity projects.

We will be raising funds for the project Antigone Educational Engagement Programme and aim to raise £4876 in total. Online donations will kindly be doubled by our key supporters.

We will only be able to double donations while our match funds last, so please make sure you donate as soon after 12pm on Tuesday 29th November as possible.

For more information on how to donate during the Challenge, please click here or feel free to contact us at info@actorsofdionysus.co.uk

Thank you in advance for your support.

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One of the most passionate and intriguing of all Greek tragedies, Bacchae is an exploration of the charisma and potential cruelty of power. When the people of Thebes refuse to worship Dionysus, the god wreaks a terrible revenge.

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Tamsin Shasha stars (‘a captivating performance’ Glasgow Herald) in David Stuttard’s ‘lively and pulsating translation’ (Michael Scott, BBC’s The Greatest Story Ever Told).

Performed in front of the Temple of Pan in the beautiful gardens at Osterley House the production will bring Euripides' masterpiece of rejection and revenge vividly to life.

For more information and to book tickets please go click here

Following discussions with the National Trust we are delighted to announce that we shall be performing Euripides' masterpiece of rejection and revenge, The Bacchae at Osterley House (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house) on 29th, 30th & 31st July 2016. Watch this space for further details and how to book.

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Temple of Pan in the gardens at Osterley House - the setting for aod's production of The Bacchae.

 

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aod performing Bacchae in the ancient theatre at Ephesus in Turkey in 2002

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Picture taken at last year's venue for Paris-Alexandros at Spruce Wood.

aod offer exclusive, high quality bespoke events for every occasion including parties, weddings, birthday's anniversaries and more sombre occasions.  These can be one off performances, poetry readings or recitals depending on individual requirements.

Previous venues have included the wonderful outdoor theatre at Spruce Wood, London's City Hall, the House of St Barnabas in Soho, Allington Castle in Kent, Europe House (the home of the European Commission) and the Reform Club on Pall Mall.

This year sees us return to Spruce Wood on July 16th for a rousing performance of Euripides' s masterpiece, The Bacchae.

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Celebrating over 21 years of touring new adaptations of ancient Greek drama to national & international audiences, aod are on the road again, this time with a completely original and spellbinding piece of theatre, featuring a strong physical and aerial dimension. 

Inspired by one of the most famous characters in Greek myth, Helen of Troy, Helen re-positions her story into the 21st century, following the time-ravaged icon 20 years after the all of Troy and upon the death of her dictator husband.  Seemingly locked in a room with only a military figure for company (her lover, jailer, or executioner?), the pair embark on a power struggle for survival. 

Following a development period in 2014, the critically acclaimed, Brighton-based company, Actors of Dionysus, are taking Helen to venues in Malvern and Warwick, as well as seven performances as part of the Brighton Fringe – England’s largest arts festival. 

The multi award-winning creative team includes direction from Jonathan Young, design by Dora Schweitzer and lighting by Ric Mountjoy. Assistant Director, Justin Murray, re-joins the team, and aod Artistic Director Tamsin Shasha takes the title role.

"Let nothing stop you from seeing them." - The Times

For all aod press enquiries contact • Mill Goble mill@actorsofdionysus.com • 01273 673 691 www.actorsofdionysus.com • info@actorsofdionysus.com

Performed and Co-written by Tamsin Shasha
Directed and Co-written by Jonathan Young 
Production Design - Dora Schweitzer 
Outside Eye – George Mann 
Assistant Director – Justin Murray
Aerial Choreographer – Jami Reed-Quarrell
Sound Designer – Matt Eaton
Lighting Designer - Ric Mountjoy 

Venues include:
Forum Theatre, Malvern – 10th-11th May
Bridge House Theatre, Warwick – 12th-13th May
Sweet St Andrews, Hove – 16th-19th May

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We are hectically busy preparing for our tour of Lysistrata and go into rehearsals on 8th Feb.  The tour begins on 22nd Feb at Worthing College.  To download a pdf flyer please click here

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