Aristophanes - The Gods are laughing
Writer: April de Angelis
Channel 4, September 1995
In September 1995, the British Film Institute and Channel 4 launched an initative to encourage television and cinema viewers to see more live theatre, therefore attracting new and future audiences. The BFI screened a series of “theatre” movies at cinemas throughout the UK and individual theatres (from the big West End venues to the smaller regional theatres) were encouraged to become involved in the biggest theatre promotion seen at that time through backstage tours, talks by actors and directors, open rehearsals and play-readings, audience review competitions and pay-what-you-like performances on October 2nd that year.
The Blow Your Mind – See A Show season was transmitted on Channel 4 between 17th and 24th September and the nightly programmes included televised excerpts from great stage dramas ranging from Macbeth to Orton’s What The Butler Saw and Kushner’s contemporary play, Angels In America, all performed by renowned actors such as Brian Cox, Frances Barber and Clive Owen; an acting masterclass with Steven Berkhoff, and the specially commissioned comic screenplay, Aristophanes – The Gods Are Laughing. Classic plays including David Hare’s The Secret Rapture and Shaw’s Pygmalion were also adapted for the small screen.
Written by the Royal Court’s April De Angelis, Aristophanes – The Gods Are Laughing is an hour-long screenplay about the life of the Greek Satirist. Eddie plays Socrates as a hip Athenian radical, complete with goatee beard and headscarf to Robert Glenister’s Aristophanes. Frances Barber also stars as Adonia, the inspiration for Aristophanes’ play, Lysistrata.