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Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics (32)

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Natalie Haynes takes a fresh look at the ancient world, creating stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2022-09-04 16:30:00

Homer: The Odyssey (p0cvsf68.mp3)

Natalie retells Homer's epic story in an extraordinary tour-de-force performance recorded in the BBC's Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. The ancient original would most probably have been performed from memory, and Natalie does the same: twenty-four books in twenty-seven minutes. It's a story of homecoming. Odysseus returns from the Trojan War, loses all his men in the course of his adventures, pauses for some pleasurable interludes of infidelity and some less pleasurable interludes of kidnap, and finally returns to his wife Penelope on the island of Ithaca after ten years of war and a further ten years of travelling. ‘Rock star mythologist’ and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. Here she explores key stories from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They might be biographical, topographical, mythological or epic, but they are always hilarious, magical and tragic, mystifying and revelatory. And they tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. This is the eighth series of the show and all the other episodes are available as podcasts on BBC Sounds. Producer: Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2022-08-28 16:30:00

Lucretius (p0cvsf1r.mp3)

The poet Lucretius's major work is a six-book poem on epicurean philosophy and physics. Doesn’t sound exactly promising? But his contemporaries and poetic descendants RAVED about it, even Cicero, who is mean about everyone. Ovid says that ‘the verses of sublime Lucretius will die only on the day the world ends’. But the world nearly did end for his work because only one manuscript survived, lost for centuries, only to be rediscovered in the Renaissance. ‘Rock star mythologist’ and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. Here she explores key stories from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They might be biographical, topographical, mythological or epic, but they are always hilarious, magical and tragic, mystifying and revelatory. And they tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. This is the eighth series (x 4) of the show and all the other episodes are available as podcasts on BBC Sounds. Guests include Professor Llewelyn Morgan and Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK. Producer: Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2022-08-21 16:30:00

Spartan Women (p0cs5cwn.mp3)

Uniquely in the ancient world, women from Sparta had extraordinary rights and freedom. Relatively speaking. They were educated: they learnt to dance, sing, recite poetry and to keep fit, in a regime where physical beauty and feminine strength were prized. They were not expected to marry until they reached maturity, which meant fewer of them died in childbirth. Their gods were female and so was the company they kept, since boys were separated from their families at age seven, and raised to be soldiers in this highly militarised society. ‘Rock star mythologist’ and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. She explores key stories from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They might be biographical, topographical, mythological or epic, but they are always hilarious, magical and tragic, mystifying and revelatory. And they tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. With guests Professors Edith Hall and Paul Cartledge Producer: Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2022-08-14 16:30:00

Pompeii (p0cs5gym.mp3)

It seems that classical scholars are wrong about the date of the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii almost two thousand years ago. It's taken a few ripe pomegranates and some squashed grapes, carbonised by pyroclastic flow, to change our minds about this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The eruption was definitely in the year 79, but the month? Most written sources mistakenly suggest it was August but if you know your fruit, you will know that pomegranates and grapes ripen in the autumn in Italy. So the presence of these fruit in the remains of the city suggest the eruption must have taken place later in the year. Natalie draws on the blisteringly dramatic account of the disaster by Pliny the Younger, writing to his friend, the historian Tacitus. She talks to archaeologist Dr Sophie Hay, who has spent nineteen years living and working in Italy and is a leading expert on the site. There are poignant details: many bodies discovered there were carrying keys, because people expected to be able to return to their homes once the eruption had subsided. Others had pillows wrapped around their heads to protect them from the pumice and lava raining down on them as they tried to escape. ‘Rock star mythologist’ and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. She explores key stories from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They might be biographical, topographical, mythological or epic, but they are always hilarious, magical and tragic, mystifying and revelatory. And they tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. With guests Dr Sophie Hay and Professor Llewelyn Morgan Producer Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2021-06-09 15:34:00

Clytemnestra (p09kzs40.mp3)

"Rock star classicist" and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. In these series she explores (historical and mythological) lives from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They are hilarious and tragic, mystifying, revelatory. And they always tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. Today Natalie stands up for Clytemnestra, who has been characterised as the worst wife in Greek mythology. This is open to debate: she's certainly a good mother, if a little bit murderous of her husband. But it turns out that Agamemnon probably deserves it. After all he sacrifices one of their daughters to Artemis without a second thought and then turns up at home years later with Cassandra, the future-seeing woman he has 'won' as a prize (also read: trafficked and enslaved) at the Battle of Troy. These actions demonstrate a certain lack of respect for his wife, as well as cruelty of the highest order. Cassandra reads the room, obviously, but nobody listens to her. Clytemnestra has a good legal brain and states her case convincingly. But it's unlikely to end well. With Professor Edith Hall. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2021-05-18 18:50:00

Jocasta (p09hydk4.mp3)

"Rock star classicist" and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. In these series she explores (historical and mythological) lives from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They are hilarious and tragic, mystifying, revelatory. And they always tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. Today Natalie stands up for Jocasta, whose second marriage was to Oedipus. Now for some spoilers if you're thinking of watching or reading Sophocles' play Oedipus Tyrannus. After some years of happy marriage and four children, Jocasta discovers that Oedipus is, in fact, her son, and the murderer of her first husband (his father) Laius. Jocasta only has a few lines in the famous play, but we learn a remarkable amount about her character. She is smarter than her husband, quicker to understand what's happening and its implications. She is courageous. And she is quicker to act. The story - in all its forms - is still spellbindingly shocking today. With Professor Edith Hall. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2021-05-18 18:45:00

Pandora (p09hyd9j.mp3)

"Rock star classicist" and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. In these series she explores (historical and mythological) lives from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They are hilarious and tragic, mystifying, revelatory. And they always tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. Today Natalie stands up for Pandora, she of the box. Which turns out to have been a jar, and not a box, or a casket, or any of the other receptacles that have been depicted as containing all sorts of evils, and of course hope. It's Erasmus' fault, for a 16th century mistranslation. A mythological equivalent to Eve with a bit of Sleeping Beauty thrown in, Pandora is described as 'beautiful evil', an irresistible punishment meted out on mankind by the god Zeus, who is annoyed with Prometheus for stealing fire. Pandora is made from clay and given a lovely silvery dress by Athene, and from her all women are descended. Once her jar is opened by Epimetheus (he was warned! but he didn't listen), and all the evil flies out, then mankind's carefree life is at an end. So, not really Pandora's fault at all. With Professor Edith Hall. Producer Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2021-05-18 18:38:00

Medusa (p09hycnf.mp3)

"Rock star classicist" and reformed stand-up Natalie Haynes is obsessed with the ancient world. In these series she explores (historical and mythological) lives from ancient Rome and Greece that still have resonance today. They are hilarious and tragic, mystifying, revelatory. And they always tell us more about ourselves now than seems possible of stories from a couple of thousand years ago. Today Natalie tells of Medusa, she of the snaky locks and stony glare. Medusa is truly terrifying, but she wasn't always a monster. She was once the most beautiful of the gorgon sisters, turned into this hideous version of herself by the goddess Athene, after being 'seduced' by Poseidon. Which may make her - literally - the original monstered victim. Natalie is joined by Professor Edith Hall, who says that Medusa is not just a victim or a monster. She's a beloved sister and mother (to winged horse Pegasus and hero Chrysaor). Her lithifying gaze gives her something in common with Midas but there's a difference in how we are invited to view them: we fear her and pity him. Illustrator Chris Riddell draws Medusa as he talks to Natalie, contemplating how she managed her serpentine hair (a hairdresser's nightmare, presumably) and whether some kind of super-sunglasses might help out with the problem of turning everything she looks at into stone. Producer, Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-06-07 17:00:00

Penelope (p08fs47g.mp3)

Natalie Haynes tells stories of Penelope, the clever woman and perfect wife behind The Odyssey. Penelope fends off a hundred idiot would-be suitors with an exhausting programme of weaving and un-weaving; is the ideal single mother for most of her marriage and devises a cunning trick to make sure her husband is really who he says he is. Also she must have been a looker because Odysseus preferred her over her cousin Helen, who was objectively the most beautiful woman in the world. Natalie finds new ways of thinking about ancient myths in this locked-down version of her stand-up show, with the help of Professors Edith Hall and Llewelyn Morgan.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-05-31 17:00:00

Eurydice (p08dh8wp.mp3)

Natalie Haynes tells stories of Eurydice, whose rescue from the Underworld was bungled by her lover Orpheus. How has her story been uncovered from sources that no longer exist? Eurydice is chased by a sex-pest at her wedding, trips on a snake and is killed by its venom. Orpheus charms Persephone with his music into allowing him to attempt a rescue from Hades, but on the journey back he must promise not to look behind him, to check Eurydice is following. Just as they are about to step into the light, he looks back, and his gaze is what kills Eurydice the second time. With Professor Llewelyn Morgan and music from Sarah Gabriel and Sarah Angliss. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-05-24 17:00:00

Penthesilea, Amazon Warrior Queen (p08dh86t.mp3)

Natalie Haynes tells of Penthesilea, Amazon warrior queen, in charge of ‘a bunch of golden-shielded, silver-axed, man-loving, boy-killing women,’ with a natty line in ankle boots, and even trousers, a scandalous item of clothing at the time. These fighting women were respected as exceptional warriors and Penthesilea was given a hero's burial when she died in battle. Unusually for women in antiquity, many Amazon's names are recorded (on vases) and they are excellent: 'She Who Lets the Dogs Out'; 'She Who Is Enthusiastic at Sex'; 'She Who Fights like a Man'. Although Amazons are regarded as mythological figures, there is strong evidence for the existence of nomadic fighting women from burial grounds in the Russian steppes. In this locked down, more intimate version of her show, Natalie offers escape to a different realm: the mythological. As fresh and funny as ever, Natalie brings us new insights into the original girl gang, as well as gossipy erudition from a couple of thousand years of culture, with the help of Professor Edith Hall.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-05-17 17:00:00

Helen of Troy (p08d6b3l.mp3)

Natalie Haynes tells stories of the most beautiful woman in the world, who hatched from an egg and was the daughter of Zeus: Helen of Troy. Men fought over her from an early age, but was she really to blame for all those wars on epic scale? Helen's face may have launched a thousand ships but it didn't make her happy: being kidnapped repeatedly does not make for contented relationships. How have her life and beauty been exploited by writers and artists across the centuries, to justify their own world-views? In this locked down, more intimate version of her show, Natalie offers escape to a different realm: the mythological. As fresh and funny as ever, Natalie brings us new insights into feathery sex as well as gossipy erudition from a couple of thousand years of culture, with the help of Professor Edith Hall.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-28 15:00:00

Suetonius (p0853lxg.mp3)

Natalie tells the story of Suetonius, biographer of the Caesars and friend of Pliny the Younger. She's joined by guests Professor Llewelyn Morgan and biographer and journalist Anita Anand. Classical knowledge is fragile: so much is lost. We don't know, for example, when Julius Caesar was born. What we do know about the Caesars is largely because of Suetonius. And some of it is quite strange. Who knew that experts in Latin grammar were once the coolest of the cool? That Domitian wrote a treatise on hair care? That Augustus kept a bust of Hadrian in his office and used hot nuts to soften the hair on his thighs? (Please don't try this at home). Fellow biographer Anita Anand knows - like Suetonius - that writing about the long-dead is probably sensible if you want to stay out of trouble, but she still found herself in international hot water after her book on the Koh-i-Noor diamond (co-written with William Dalrymple) was published. It's amazing how Suetonius managed to stay in imperial good books despite writing the first warts and all biographies of all time. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-24 12:23:00

Homer: The Iliad (p084l0t3.mp3)

Natalie Haynes stands up for Homer's Iliad, in an extraordinary tour-de-force performance recorded in the BBC's Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. The original epic story would most probably have been performed from memory, and Natalie does the same: her only prompt is the voice of Dr Adam Rutherford to number the twenty-four books. It's a vivid, cinematic tapestry of extraordinary stories: of gods, Greeks and Trojans, men and women, mothers and fathers and lovers. There's fighting and trickery, and touching domestic detail (when Hector's wife Andromache and son Astynax bid a final goodbye to him). The great Greek hero Achilles spends quite a lot of time in a sulk, refusing to fight, because King Agamemnon forces him to give up his trophy girlfriend, Briseis. But his vengeance is merciless when he hears of the death of his beloved Patroclus at Hector's hands. There's a child frightened by the plumes on his father's helmet; a magic bra, which Hera uses to seduce Zeus (unnecessary encouragement, to be honest) and there's the reason why the phrase 'rosy-fingered dawn' is so-often repeated. It's a breathtaking story that echoes down the centuries, inspiring each generation with new interpretations of this epic work. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the ancient world and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy, extremely well-informed analysis, and conversation. Natalie picks out hilarious details and universal truths, as well as finding parallels with modern life, or those parts of life which are still influenced by ancient thought. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-24 11:08:00

Roman British Women: Claudia Severa. (p084kp2s.mp3)

Natalie Haynes tells the stories of the handful of Roman-British women whose traces stay with us: a fierce queen, a slave woman freed for love, the so-called 'Ivory Bangle Lady' and Claudia Severa, whose invitation to her friend to her birthday party some two thousand years ago is one of the greatest historical treasures of Roman Britain. Wooden tablets, ivory (and jet) bangles and a romantic gravestone inscription from South Shields. Natalie is joined by guests Professor Llewelyn Morgan and archaeologist Dr Paul Roberts. Stand up comedy, ancient details and a lot of fascinating gossip from a couple of thousand years ago. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-24 10:57:00

Aristotle (p084kmkw.mp3)

Natalie Haynes stands up for Greek philosopher-scientist Aristotle, with Dr Adam Rutherford and Professor Edith Hall. This week Natalie explores why it's so easy to fall in love with Aristotle, have fun with his Nicomachean ethics and how we know he had 20:20 vision. It seems he hated being tutor to Alexander the Great, although he did manage to stay alive in the lethal court of Philip of Macedon, where the usual toll of suspicious deaths was fourteen a week. But how much did he really know about elephants tongues and bivalves on Lesbos? We love a bit of gossip from a couple of thousand years ago. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the ancient world and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy, extremely well-informed analysis, and conversation. The series is – in part - about how the modern world is more interesting when it's refracted through the prism of the ancient one. Natalie picks out hilarious details and universal truths, as well as finding parallels with modern life, or those parts of life which are still influenced by ancient thought. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 15:14:00

Livy (p083sx25.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation. Today she stands up in the name of Roman historian Livy, who gave us Hannibal crossing the Alps and the inspiration for Shakespeare's Coriolanus. Meticulously researched facts or a damn fine story? History or myth? Mostly the latter, but priceless nonetheless. Elephants, early science and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago. With special guests comedian - and history buff - Al Murray and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 15:09:00

Euripides (p083swk3.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation. Today she stands up in the name of playwright Euripides. Feminist, anti-war, ironic, full of subtext: his work displays strikingly modern sensibilities and his Medea still has the power to shock. With special guests playwright Mark Ravenhill and classicist Professor Edith Hall. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 15:07:00

Phryne (p083svh7.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation. Today she stands up in the name of Phryne, the Greek courtesan famed for her extraordinary wit and beauty. Glossy of skin and a model for statues of the goddess Aphrodite, Phryne was as clever as they come and minted to boot. Outrage, outrageousness and as always, a lot of gossip from a couple of thousand years ago. With special guests comedian Katy Brand and classicist Professor Edith Hall. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 15:07:00

Horace (p083svw5.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation. Today she stands up in the name of Horace, the Roman poet who made friends of his enemies through the beauty of his writing, whom we all still quote today, often without realising. You know that bit of Latin in the Wilfred Owen poem? That's Horace. The son of a freedman, Horace was a master at avoiding political controversy. He was no looker, being by his own account short and fat, but he definitely had a racy side (think mirrors on the ceiling). A town mouse, a country mouse, and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago. With special guests novelist and poet Ben Okri and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:59:00

Cicero (p083stbp.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of the Roman lawyer, politician and orator Cicero. Maybe we'd all love him a bit more if Shakespeare had had a nicer Latin teacher. Expect a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago. With special guests lawyer Mark Stephens and Professor Llewelyn Morgan. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:59:00

Sappho (p083st40.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of Greek poet, Sappho, about whom we know so little, and most of what we think we know is made-up. But one thing is certain: her poetry is scorching, and unforgettable. There will also be a lot of gossip from over a thousand years ago. With special guests novelist Stella Duffy, classicist Professor Edith Hall and music from LiTTLe MACHiNe. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:59:00

Juvenal (p083stz9.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of Greek writer Lucian. Expect to hear about the possible origins of 'The Life of Brian', the possible inspiration for Mickey Mouse and a trip to the moon about a thousand years before NASA. With special guests Professor Edith Hall and Matthew Sweet. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:59:00

Lucian (p083stmr.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of Greek writer Lucian. Expect to hear about the possible origins of 'The Life of Brian', the possible inspiration for Mickey Mouse and a trip to the moon about a thousand years before NASA. With special guests Professor Edith Hall and Matthew Sweet. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:56:00

Ovid (p083srjl.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Tonight she stands up in the name of Roman poet, Ovid. Expect frottage at the races, Greek myths from a female perspective, and enough inspiration for painters, writers and sculptures to last a couple of millenia. With special guests Llewelyn Morgan and Michael Squire. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:56:00

Aristophanes (p083sr5g.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. She stands up in the name of Greek playwright and inventor of 'old comedy', Aristophanes. Expect a chorus of frogs, rather too much information about padded costumes, and a sex strike. Oh, and a lot of gossip from two and half thousand years ago. With special guests Rosie Wyles, Edith Hall and Fiona Laird. Producer: Mary Ward-Lowery First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2016.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:56:00

Agrippina (p083ssf9.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of one of the most powerful women of Ancient Rome and Caligula's big sister, Agrippina the Younger. Julia Agrippina was pretty well-connected all round given that her granddad was the Emperor Augustus, her husband (also her uncle: don't ask) was Emperor Claudius and her son was Emperor Nero. And she was no slouch. Turns out it was her handiness with the purse strings that kept the Empire going. Also, who else has survived an assassination attempt by a specially built collapsible boat? Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:56:00

Plato (p083ss33.mp3)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London. Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Today she stands up in the name of one of the world's greatest thinkers, Plato, with the help of psychotherapist Philippa Perry and classicist Professor Edith Hall. Plato wasn't perfect, even though he talks about perfection all the time. Turns out he was on the chunky side and had bad eyesight. On the other hand, he was very good at wrestling. Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:25:00

Aspasia (p083sqw8.mp3)

A fresh look at the ancient world. Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century. Aspasia. Women in ancient Greece were supposedly not seen, not heard and not talked about. Meet the woman who broke all the rules – all the more remarkably for the fact that she was the partner of one of the most powerful men in Greece at the time, Pericles. Natalie explores how writers and comedians used Aspasia’s reputation as a way of attacking the statesman – a practice which hasn’t changed much over 2,500 years. With classicist Sarah B. Pomeroy, Dr Ian Jenkins of the British Museum and Cate Haste, co-author with Cherie Booth of a book on the lot of the statesman’s spouse. Producer: Christine Hall First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2014.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:23:00

Virgil (p083sqd9.mp3)

A fresh look at the ancient world. Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century. Natalie considers the work of the Roman poet Virgil, ranging from his hints on bee-keeping to his great work The Aeneid. Dido is the classic wronged woman and the Aeneid contains the best ding-dong between a man and a woman in all Latin literature, culminating in Dido’s memorable promise “If you go I’m going to kill myself and then I will pursue you from beyond death with black fires!” Natalie is joined by Pamela Helen Stephen who has sung Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, bee-keeper Gordon Cutting and Dr Llewelyn Morgan to talk about the greatest poet in the Roman world. Producer: Christine Hall. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2014.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 14:16:00

Sophocles (p083sq60.mp3)

A fresh look at the ancient world. Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century. Episode 2: Sophocles invents modern drama with Oedipus the King. Spoiler alert! – it doesn't end well. This episode includes handy hints on how to get in the mood for a classical tragedy (bring a bottle.) With Professor Edith Hall, poet and playwright Frank McGuinness and TV critic Andrew Collins. Producer Christine Hall First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

From Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics at 2020-02-18 13:59:00

Petronius (p083sm3f.mp3)

A fresh look at the ancient world. Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century. Episode 1: The worst dinner party in history. Natalie investigates the work of the writer Petronius, creator of the infamous Satyricon, later made into a film by Fellini. It’s all about excess; as a vegetarian, Natalie’s particularly revolted by the way in which the Romans insisted on making edible food look disgusting. With satirical cartoonist Martin Rowson, Fellini fan Richard Dyer and historian Victoria Rimell. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.