In the past, you seem to have done several things at the
same time. I mean, we spoke about your previous production
of Hamlet, you know, and Hercules and that. Are you doing
just Hamlet at the moment?
Ah . . . (laughs)
Apart from the fact that you're acting it and directing
Acting and directing it, and producing. No, well, I'm
preparing another production which I go into a week after we
open Hamlet which I'm directing with the [???} drama at
Auckland University. It's Lysistrata, Aristophanes'
play . . .
. . . which I love.
Not many laughs in that one.
Oh, there are! It's the funniest play ever
Yeah, you know, oh, it's . . .
Go on, tell me about it.
Well, Lysistrata is this woman, and she gets all the other
women in Athens together, and she's really upset because all
the men, they're off fighting the Spartans. The women are
sick of this, and she's sick of it, and she says, look, the
only way we're gonna stop this, this ridiculous war, and she
gets all the Spartan women over, and they decide they're not
going to have sex until the war is, 'til the treaty is
signed. And they barricade themselves into the Acropolis and
. . .
Did they still do the washing-up?
No, no, that's the whole point. It's fantastic, because you
get all these men, these wonderful--because the Greeks were
earthy as anything, all these men walking around, you know,
gigantic bulges under their togas--lot of jokes about that
("What's that under your toga?"), but the thing is . . .
It's all very [???] then, isn't it?
Well, except that the women are the same, the women are
dying to get back to the men, and Lysistrata has this
enormous job trying to keep them in the Acropolis, and
basically, it's separating the sexes until they come to
their senses. And at the end, when, finally, they do come to
their senses, they're allowed to come together and there's
this great sort of dance. It's actually really funny, and,
again, it's, I suppose, it's sort of got modern
sensibilities. The Greeks were amazing that they could treat
women as not even citizens and yet write these amazing plays
for them and about them.