Thursday, July 02, 2020

‘Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics’

2 July 2020

One of the small pleasures of lockdown has been working through the back catalogue of episodes of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics’. Comedian, and classicist, Natalie Haynes has been taking a fresh look at the ancient world, through 30-minute programmes focussing on particular figures from ancient Greece and Rome, since 2014. All 6 series are available to listen to on BBC Sounds: Her natural enthusiasm, detailed knowledge, straightforward approach and hilarious incredulity at the peculiarities of the ancient world are infectious, and we’ve gradually worked (backwards) through all 24 episodes. The most recent programmes (recorded during lockdown) look at mythical characters including Penelope, Eurydice and Helen of Troy. Having exhausted the archive of radio programmes we have now had to feed our addiction by watching ‘Troy Story’ – the event Natalie Haynes recorded for this year’s online Hay Festival Digital. This was a bravura summary of the whole of the Trojan War in just over an hour, in which Natalie Haynes was accompanied by live drawing by the illustrator and cartoonist Chris Riddell. It’s rather brilliant and can be watched on Hay Player, which contains thousands of audio and film recordings from several years of the Hay Festival and costs £10 for an annual subscription:

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