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Behind The Scenes: Creating The Suppliant Women

3 Nov 2021

We snuck into a rehearsal for The Suppliant Women to take a look behind the scenes at the incredible production being created in our theatre.

Using the techniques of Ancient Greek theatre, we’ve been recruiting and training the people of Canterbury (and further afield in Kent) to create this extraordinary theatrical event, The Suppliant Women.   In the photographs, our local chorus of young women take to our theatre stage to rehearse.

Drawn from across Kent, three choruses will bring one of the world’s oldest plays to life. Written 2,500 years ago by the first great playwright Aeschylus, The Suppliant Women is one of the world’s oldest plays, presented here in a version by renowned writer David Greig. At its heart are a group of young women in full chorus arguing for their lives, speaking to us across the ages with startling resonance for our times.

The Suppliant Women tells the story of fifty women who leave everything behind to board a boat in north Africa and flee across the Mediterranean. Escaping forced marriage, they hope for protection and seek asylum in Greece. Their arrival in Greece leads to a vote – considered to be the earliest written reference to democracy – with the townspeople choosing whether to accept the migrants or send them home.

The production reunites the creative team behind the original hit show, which comprises composer John Browne, director Ramin Gray, choreographer Sasha Milavic Davies, to create an extraordinary theatrical event featuring music, ancient instruments, and a chorus of Kent citizens. In Canterbury, this community chorus have been trained and supported by renowned vocal coach Mary King.   Find out more about the team behind The Suppliant Women here.

The Suppliant Women will be performed at Gulbenkian Arts Centre from 11 – 14th November 2021.

Find out more about the performance & book tickets


Image credit: mistereb


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

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