Department of Greek & Latin


Classical Play

The UCL Classical Drama Society and the Department of Greek and Latin each year present a classical play in English translation in UCL's own theatre, the UCL Bloomsbury. The play takes place in February each year (about the same time as the ancient Athenian dramatic festival known as the Lenaia).

2020: Aristophanes’ Frogs

Under every stone lurks a politician

Idealistic thoughts of good peace terms? General critiques of political policy? Citizens rejecting the leadership to whom it now follows? Nearly 2,500 years later and still the political themes present in Aristophanes’ Frogs are of great pertinence to us today. Yet, with our millennial majority rapidly transforming society, is the ‘new’ directing us towards a Utopia of tomorrow, or once again leading us astray from a clear and direct path to success?

Set within the backdrop of the artistic and social movement of Futurism, UCL’s 2020 Dionysus and Xanthius will be endeavouring to save their empty and artless world with the retrieval of a newer and younger rap artist Eu-RIP-ides.  Yet after the parties, obscenities and confusion of identities, it is the new or old ways that are left for terminal decline?

Please note that the 2020 UCL Classical play will take place on 12-14 February, including matinée performances on the 13th and 14th. Tickets will go on sale later in the autumn.

This is now one of the most famous and long-running commitments to the modern production of ancient drama in the world. It attracts large audiences, many of whom are young people studying classical drama at school or university, and is regularly reviewed in the national press. Ticket prices are kept low. 

The production is managed by students in the Department of Greek and Latin, with help and advice from staff. A number of former students involved in the classical play have gone on to careers in drama. Students choose a director and a producer in the autumn: the title of the play for the following year is announced in late October (and will be posted on this website).

The Department of Greek and Latin is committed to bringing these productions to the widest possible audience. For each production we run a programme of lectures and workshops, free and open to the public, which are run by leading academics and theatre experts from across the UK. For the benefit of schools and colleges we also create a web-page of study materials on ancient drama in general, and with special focus on the current year's performance. The students also maintain a blog on the play as they rehearse.

Oedipus Rex Classical Play

Oedipus Rex: UCL Classical Play 2019

This year's play was Oedipus Rex. Read more about the production and the students involved.

Greek Goddess

Past Productions

Take a look back at some of our past Classical Play productions.