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History of the Greek Play

Hippolytusv2The spectacular success of the 1953 performance of Hippolytus  ensured the Greek Play became a King’s College London tradition. For the rest of the 1950s, tragedies dominated the stage - subsequent performances included Medea (1955) Electra (1956), Ajax (1958). The start of a new decade also saw the first performance of a comedy – Menander’s Dyscolus. Since then, both genres have enjoyed relatively equal footing.

2019 Greek Play posterThe creation of the University of London Festival of Greek Drama in 1987 signified another important change. The Greek Play’s involvement in this “annual season of live performances” led to wider exposure, something that we particularly aim for every year. Our tours to various universities in America and Canada can be seen as a further step in this direction.

The success of the King’s Greek Play has often been attributed to its remarkable juxtaposition of the traditional elements of an ancient play with refreshing and often challenging new concepts. Whatever a particular director’s interpretation of the time-honoured texts, by coming to our play every spring, you will be guaranteed a unique and exciting experience.

See our Greek Play Archive for details of previous performances, organised by decade, dating all the way back from 1953's Hippolytus  to 2019's Antigone: