This book traces the international performance history of Aristophanic comedy, and its implication in aesthetic and political controversies, from 421 BC to AD 2007. It includes Brechtian experiments in East Berlin, and musical theatre from Gilbert and Sullivan to Stephen Sondheim.
Introduction: Aristophanic Laughter across the Centuries Part I: Precedents 1. The Ups and Downs of Aristophanic Travel 2. Aristophanes in Early Modern England 3. The English-Speaking Aristophanes, 1650–1914 Part II: Excursus: Publication as Performance 4. Publication as Intervention: Aristophanes in 1659 5. Revolutionary Aristophanes? 6. Aristophanes’ Wealth and Dalpatram’s Part III: Revival to Repertoire 7. Aristophanes Revitalized! Music and Spectacle on the Academic Stage 8. From Scandal to Success Story: Aristophanes’ Birds as Staged by Karolos Koun 9. The Use of Masks in Koun’s Stage Interpretations of Birds 10. ‘Aristophanes is Back!’ Peter Hacks’s Adaptation of Peace 11. Sondheim Floats Frogs Part IV: Close Encounters 12. Freeing Aristophanes in South Africa: From High Culture to Contemporary Satire 13. Aristophanes’ Peace on the Twentieth-Century French Stage: From Political Statement to Artistic Failure 14. Poetry and Politics, Advice and Abuse: The Aristophanic Chorus on the Italian Stage 15. A Poet without ‘Gravity’: Aristophanes on the Italian Stage 16. A Version of the Birds in two Productions 17. Translating/Transposing Aristophanes 18. Aristophanes in Translation before 1920