Alcestis Books Writing

‘Alcestis’ in Sri Lanka

Via Twitter, yet again, I’ve found a few links to a production of Euripides’ Alcestis being performed at St Thomas’s College in Sri Lanka. This review includes quotations from the actors, who are all male. There’s just something delightful about this passage, though I obviously went with a very different interpretation of Alcestis’s motives:

“She’s a loving wife,” explains Adam Kenny (18) speaking about his role as Alcestis, “She’s the type of wife, willing to do anything for her husband. She has no options. She has to do it.”

And speaking of re-interpreting the motives of well-known characters, I’m really looking forward to checking out Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, especially now that I know it’s part of the Canongate Myths series. This interview with Pullman is worth reading for many reasons, including the bits about his pugs, but particularly for this lovely description of how Pullman thinks his storytelling abilities were shaped by his work as a teacher:

… it was not so much his grand- father’s sermons, he insists, that affected his own storytelling so much as the years he spent as a teacher. “Telling stories aloud and making up stories. You learn such a lot when you tell great stories like the Iliad or the Odyssey, over and over again. You learn what a good story shape is, you learn how to time it — I used to like getting to a good bit just when I knew the bell was about to go. It gave me great pleasure when they wanted to stay in rather than go out and play.” Pullman talks quite tenderly about his past.”And you learn what you can do and what you can’t do,” he adds. “I can’t do funny stories. Can’t do them at all. I can do them on the page, but I can’t deliver them. There’s something I haven’t got. And I’ve tried, but I haven’t got it. But I can do tension and suspense and action, and I can paint a scene so that it comes clearly before the listeners.”

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