Vervain Theatre Production
Not the Same Old Samia by Chris Vervain (and Menander)
I have recently turned to ancient Greek New Comedy and one of the surviving plays of Menanader, a playwright writing in the fourth century BCE.which I have adapted to enhance the humour, and to take a more feminist perspective.
Menander's Samia is an example of the genre we now call 'New Comedy' which featured domestic households with stock characters, such as young men in love, irascible fathers, clever slaves, beautiful prostitutes. My adaptation develops these characters to give them life and contemporary relevance.
These ancient plays have come down to us in fragmentary form. However most of the Samia, has survived and I have utilised the extant text (in modern English translation) and added new material of my own. In the original, performances would have included several song and dance numbers by a chorus. The text for these dances has not survived but I have written some new ones, basing them on ancient and modern models. These round out the play, giving it more potential to provide a satisfying theatrical experience.
A staging of the play in February 2019, by Chris Vervain Mask Theatre, has been filmed and the complete performance is viewable on Youtube as Not the Same Old Samia. Some short extracts are also available here, here and here.
Some images from the performance are shown below.