skip to main content

Greek Theatre

Poster image for Antigone 2012

Greek Theatre

The theatre of Ancient Greece flourished between 550 BC and 220 BC. A festival honouring the god Dionysus was held in Athens, out of which three dramatic genres emerged: tragedy, comedy and the satyr play.

Western theatre has its roots in the theatre of Ancient Greece and the plays that originated there. This collection features video about Greek theatre and productions of Greek plays staged at the National Theatre.

You can also view the Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre, our online exhibition from the Google Cultural Archives.

An Introduction to Greek Theatre

This film explores the defining aspects of Greek Theatre. The theatre of Ancient Greece flourished between 550 BC and 220 BC. A festival honouring the god Dionysus was held in Athens, out of which three dramatic genres emerged: tragedy, comedy and the satyr play.

More info

Women in Greek Theatre

This film explores the role of women in Ancient Greek society and the representation of female identity in Antigone, Women of Troy and Medea. Find out more about Greek Theatre on our National Theatre Discover YouTube channel.

More info

Bacchai resource pack

Education workpack for Peter Hall's production of Bacchai.

Interviews with Peter Hall (Director), Colin Teevan (Translator), Alison Chitty (Designer), Harrison Birtwistle (Composer), Greg Hicks, William Houston, David Ryall (actors).

Including practical exercises and ideas for discussions.

Bacchai workpack

Modern Interpretations of Greek Chorus

Find out more about the theatre of Ancient Greece, with this film that examines the role of the chorus, a defining aspect of the plays that emerged there between 500BC and 220BC.

More info

Antigone: Family versus State

This film looks at a central conflict within the play; Creon's belief in State weighed against the actions of his family. For more on Antigone, visit our National Theatre Discover channel on YouTube.

More info

An Introduction to Greek Comedy and Satyr Drama

This is a short film about Greek Comedy and Satyr Drama, discussing the festival of Dionysus, the original performance conditions and how the style of these shows differ from Greek Tragedy.

More info