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Performing Greek Comedy


  • Author: Alan Hughes, University of Victoria, British Columbia
  • Date Published: August 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107437364

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About the Authors
  • Alan Hughes presents a new complete account of production methods in Greek comedy. The book summarises contemporary research and disputes, on such topics as acting techniques, theatre buildings, masks and costumes, music and the chorus. Evidence is re-interpreted and traditional doctrine overthrown. Comedy is presented as the pan-Hellenic, visual art of theatre, not as Athenian literature. Recent discoveries in visual evidence are used to stimulate significant historical revisions. The author has directly examined 350 vase scenes of comedy in performance and actor-figurines, in 75 collections, from Melbourne to St Petersburg. Their testimony is applied to acting techniques and costumes, and women's participation in comedy and mime. The chapters are arranged by topic, for convenient reference by scholars and students of theatre history, literature, classics and drama. Overall, the book provides a fresh practical insight into this continually developing subject.

    • Based on up-to-date, contemporary research in the archaeology of Greek comedy and theatre, replacing previous outdated studies which overlook visual evidence
    • Explores comedy as Greek theatrical performance rather than Athenian literature, providing new insights into acting methods, masks and the role of women
    • Clearly organised by topic, the book does not require a knowledge of Greek and includes a helpful bibliography
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[Hughes'] experience, combined with a thorough bibliography and first-hand examination of 350 artefacts, results in a solid introduction to the performance of Greek comedy … all readers will find ample opportunities in the thorough notes and bibliography to delve more deeply into the questions and controversies of the subject.' Scott Farrington, Theatre Research International

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107437364
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 65 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Comedy in art, Athens and abroad
    2. Poets of Old and Middle Comedy
    3. Theatres
    4. The comic chorus
    5. Music in comedy
    6. Acting, from lyric to dual consciousness
    7. Technique and style of acting comedy
    8. The masks of comedy
    9. Costumes of Old and Middle Comedy
    10. Comedy and women
    11. New Comedy
    Catalogue of objects discussed: vases, terracottas, other media

  • Author

    Alan Hughes, University of Victoria, British Columbia
    Alan Hughes is Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, a theatre historian and professional who has operated his own repertory company. Published research includes Henry Irving, Shakespearean, an account of the actor-manager's productions, and his edition of Titus Andronicus in the New Cambridge Shakespeare series. In 2006 the T. B. L. Webster Fellowship recognised his contributions to the archaeology of Greek theatre, leading to the completion of Performing Greek Comedy.

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