Simon Armitage on Greek Tragedy

Anne McElvoy talks to the poet Simon Armitage about his dramatisation of The Last Days of Troy. His play, based on Homer's epic, reveals how cycles of conflict and revenge, pride and self-deception continue throughout history. Greek myth is at the heart of a new opera, Thebans, in which the playwright and poet Frank McGuinness draws on the tragedy of the mythical monarch Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. Natalie Haynes explores what happens when troubled teenagers become enthralled by Greek tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge in her debut novel, while Kenan Malik goes on a quest for a moral compass.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

Last on

Mon 5 May 2014 21:30

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage is a poet, playwright and novelist.


The Last Days of Troy is on at the Royal Exchange, Manchester from 8 May - 7 June and then at Shakespeare’s Globe, London from 10 - 28 June.


The play is published by Faber & Faber.


Simon Armitage

Frank McGuinness

Frank McGuinness is a playwright and poet.


Thebans, with words by Frank McGuinness and composed by Julian Anderson, is at the London Coliseum until 3 June.

Natalie Haynes

Natalie Haynes is a writer, broadcaster, reviewer and classicist.


The Amber Fury is published by Corvus.


Natalie Haynes

Kenan Malik

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster.


The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics is published by Atlantic Books.


Kenan Malik


Role Contributor
PresenterAnne McElvoy
Interviewed GuestSimon Armitage
Interviewed GuestFrank McGuinness
Interviewed GuestNatalie Haynes
Interviewed GuestKenan Malik
ProducerKaty Hickman