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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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We recently took part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge – a nationwide initiative allowing charities to have their donations doubled by Charity Champions over the course of a few days at the start of the holiday season.

We raised an amazing £1846 towards our Spring tour of Lysistrata, which will make a huge difference to us. Enormous thanks to all who donated towards our cause!

This fundraising effort is now closed, but do watch this space for the next one…

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After an intense few months Helen our Autumn 2014 production has finally come to an end……like the show itself it’s been a rollercoaster experience with a few bruises, silk burns and bumps along the way, but we’ve emerged with something we’re really proud of and excited by. It was difficult to predict that this project would develop into exploring the psyche of a woman on the verge of a meltdown, languishing in a drug induced, partly self-imposed exile, struggling for her own survival and sanity; and yet Tamsin Shasha’s portrayal of Helen was painfully real; a menagerie of sensuality, strength and unfortunate denial Winchester Online

Photographs and more reviews below

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Reviews

A passionate and intense piece of physical theatre, Helen is thought-provoking, powerful and makes you question so many of our current values Denis W McGeary, British Theatre Guide  full review click here

Shasha and director Jonathan Young’s script has an urgency that eluded Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus… Charles Hutchinson, York Press  full review  click here

A fantastic aesthetic quality to the piece… haunting… gripping… Helen is a visual treat… well worth checking out  Adam Bruce, A Younger Theatre

full review click here

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Reviews for Helen

Wonderfully complex….and compelling Peter Jacobs, The Public Reviews

full review click here

Haunting…..and visually gripping…Helen is a rollercoaster ride of emotion and a fantastic adaptation of a story millennia old Jennifer Dutton, Salford Online

full review click here

Cumbria Live click here 

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Rehearsals are well under way for Helen and we are having fun devising, here are some pics to whet your appetite.

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Share your love of Classics with Boris Johnson, Bettany Hughes and aod, in support of the charity Classics for All, in a spectacular venue with panoramic views of London.

On Thursday 18th September 2014 we will be performing at London’s Living room hosted byBoris Johnson.

It is a fundraising event in support of the charity Classics for All who provide launch-aid funding to help schools get classical subjects off the ground. Classics is well-known in improving pupils’ literacy and language skills and who believe it should be accessible to all.

For more information on the event and tickets please click here

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On Sat 12th July aod held a small launch of their new Sappho CD The Sweetness of Honey at a private house in London.  The evening was  a great success and there was much enjoyment to be had.  To view pics of the event please click here

Poems of Sappho (based on translations by David Stuttard and Josephine Balmer) are read by Fenella Fielding and Tamsin Shasha, and set to music by Emma Hetherington, who performs them with Rebecca Vučetić.

Reviews of the CD include: ‘Who could possibly resist this? Charismatic, sensuous, sublime: Imagine yourself under Sappho’s silvery moon, the warm wind of her beloved Lesbos around you, the oak leaves shivering; our poet and her lovely girls your companions. A lyrical delight.’ (Bettany Hughes) 

Sappho’s is the first female voice in western literature. Today only some of her poetry survives, but it remains as startlingly fresh as it was when it was first written around 600 BC. With subjects ranging from love and desire to old age and sorrow, Sappho’s verses not only transport us to the flowering meadows of ancient Lesbos, but speak to us directly of emotions with which are are all familiar. For a preview please  click here

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2014 sees aod celebrate its 21st birthday.  For this occasion we have produced a special anniversary brochure detailing aodProductions, aodEducation and aodEvents.  To download a copy please click here.  If you would like a printed version please do get in touch with us here

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aod have been working with David Stuttard on a new collection of spoken Sappho poetry and poems set to music called The Sweetness of Honey.

Saturday 12th July in London, so do get in touch for more details Numbers are strictly limited so contact us early to reserve a place.

Audio CD. Actors of Dionysus. Total playing time: 37’ 39”

Produced by aod, the poems of Sappho (based on translations by David Stuttard and Josephine Balmer) are read by Fenella Fielding and Tamsin Shasha, and set to music by Emma Hetherington, who performs them with Rebecca Vučetić.

Who could possibly resist this? Charismatic, sensuous, sublime: Imagine yourself under Sappho’s silvery moon, the warm wind of her beloved Lesbos around you, the oak leaves shivering; our poet and her lovely girls your companions. A lyrical delight

Bettany Hughes

Sappho’s is the first female voice in western literature. Today only some of her poetry survives, but it remains as startlingly fresh as it was when it was first written around 600 BC. With subjects ranging from love and desire to old age and sorrow, Sappho’s verses not only transport us to the flowering meadows of ancient Lesbos, but speak to us directly of emotions with which are are all familiar.

This CD contains fifteen of Sappho’s poems, many translated especially for the collection, and including one which was discovered and published for the first time in 2014. In addition, nine of the poems (together with a haunting inscription from a fifth-century BC Athenian gravestone) have been set to music by Emma Hetherington, who performs them with Rebecca Vučetić, accompanied on instruments ranging from piano and guitar to harp and double bass.

For a sneak preview please listen here:

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Bettany Hughes in discussion with David Stuttard on the subject of Medea and C5th BC Women as broadcast at Rose Theatre Kingston as part of aod’s run with Medea from 12th – 15th Nov 2013.

 

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