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Serpent Son

This tag is associated with 2 posts

Classics on TV: BFI Southbank programme, 19 June 2012

Tonight sees the third programme in the five-night Screen Plays season Classics on TV: Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen at BFI Southbank. No tickets for the 6.10pm showing are available via the website but it may be worth getting on the standby list in case some become available immediately before the performance. Tonight’s screening is of Agamemnon, the first part of the 1979 BBC Television version of Aeschylus’ Oresteia ​trilogy which was transmitted under the title The Serpent Son, followed by the original, quasi-satyr play Of Mycenae and Men. Following the earlier two screenings on 7 and 13 June we tried an experiment, inviting anyone who was at the screening to contribute their thoughts about the programme on this blog. That experiment was really successful, and so we will continue it for further screenings. Any and all responses would be welcome, however brief – and John Wyver and I will also be offering some further thoughts. Continue reading

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Postscript to The Serpent Son: Of Mycenae and Men (BBC, 1979)

The 1979 BBC three-part production of The Serpent Son — Frederic Raphael and Kenneth McLeish’s translation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy — which I posted about recently was followed by a ‘sophisticated modern comedy’ written by the translators. This half-hour play, Of Mycenae and Men, took the place of an ancient Greek satyr play, and it gently parodied the story of Agamemnon, the first play in the trilogy. It follows the reunion of Helen (Diana Dors) and Menelaus (Freddie Jones), with Bob Hoskins in the central role of the slave. As an original television play, Of Mycenae and Men lies beyond the methodological net of Screen Plays, but I thought it would be nice to write about it as a postscript for the holidays. Continue reading

Emitron camera at Alexandra Palace