Natalie Haynes Stands Up For The Classics

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Petronius20140324

A fresh look at the ancient world.

Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century.

Episode 1: The worst dinner party in history. Natalie investigates the work of the writer Petronius, creator of the infamous Satyricon, later made into a film by Fellini. It's all about excess; as a vegetarian, Natalie's particularly revolted by the way in which the Romans insisted on making edible food look disgusting. With satirical cartoonist Martin Rowson, Fellini fan Richard Dyer and historian Victoria Rimell.

0102Sophocles20140331

A fresh look at the ancient world.

Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century.

Episode 2: Sophocles invents modern drama with Oedipus the King. Spoiler alert! - it doesn't end well. This episode includes handy hints on how to get in the mood for a classical tragedy (bring a bottle.) With Professor Edith Hall, poet and playwright Frank McGuinness and TV critic Andrew Collins.

Producer Christine Hall.

0103Virgil20140407

A fresh look at the ancient world.

Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century.

Episode 3: Virgil. Natalie Haynes considers the work of the Roman poet Virgil, ranging from his hints on bee-keeping to his great work The Aeneid. Dido is the classic wronged woman and the Aeneid contains the best ding-dong between a man and a woman in all Latin literature, culminating in Dido's memorable promise "If you go I'm going to kill myself and then I will pursue you from beyond death with black fires!" Natalie is joined by Pamela Helen Stephen who has sung Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, bee-keeper Gordon Cutting and Dr Llewelyn Morgan to talk about the greatest poet in the Roman world.

Producer: Christine Hall.

0104 LASTAspasia20140414

A fresh look at the ancient world.

Natalie Haynes, critic, writer and reformed stand-up comedian, brings the ancient world entertainingly up to date. In each of the four programmes she profiles a figure from ancient Greece or Rome and creates a stand-up routine around them. She then goes in search of the links which make the ancient world still very relevant in the 21st century.

Episode 4 : Aspasia. Women in ancient Greece were supposedly not seen, not heard and not talked about. Meet the woman who broke all the rules - all the more remarkably for the fact that she was the partner of one of the most powerful men in Greece at the time, Pericles. Natalie explores how writers and comedians used Aspasia's reputation as a way of attacking the statesman - a practice which hasn't changed much over 2,500 years. With classicist Sarah B. Pomeroy, Dr Ian Jenkins of the British Museum and Cate Haste, co-author with Cherie Booth of a book on the lot of the statesman's spouse.

Producer: Christine Hall.

0201Aristophanes2016041120160809 (R4)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Tonight she stands up in the name of Greek playwright and inventor of 'old comedy', Aristophanes. Expect a chorus of frogs, rather too much information about padded costumes, and a sex strike. Oh, and a lot of gossip from two and half thousand years ago.

With special guests Rosie Wyles, Edith Hall and Fiona Laird.

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0202Ovid2016041820160810 (R4)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Tonight she stands up in the name of Roman poet, Ovid. Expect frottage at the races, Greek myths from a female perspective, and enough inspiration for painters, writers and sculptures to last a couple of millennia.

With special guests Llewelyn Morgan and Michael Squire.

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0203Plato2016042520160811 (R4)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of one of the world's greatest thinkers, Plato, with the help of psychotherapist Philippa Perry and classicist Professor Edith Hall.

Plato wasn't perfect, even though he talks about perfection all the time. Turns out he was on the chunky side and had bad eyesight. On the other hand, he was very good at wrestling.

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0204 LASTAgrippina2016050220160812 (R4)

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of one of the most powerful women of Ancient Rome and Caligula's big sister, Agrippina the Younger.

Julia Agrippina was pretty well-connected all round given that her granddad was the Emperor Augustus, her husband (also her uncle: don't ask) was Emperor Claudius and her son was Emperor Nero.

And she was no slouch. Turns out it was her handiness with the purse strings that kept the Empire going. Also, who else has survived an assassination attempt by a specially built collapsible boat?

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0301Sappho2017080320180326 (R4)

Natalie Haynes stands up for the Greek poet Sappho.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of Greek poet, Sappho, about whom we know so little, and most of what we think we know is made-up. But one thing is certain: her poetry is scorching, and unforgettable. There will also be a lot of gossip from over a thousand years ago.

With special guests novelist Stella Duffy, classicist Professor Edith Hall and music from LiTTLe MACHiNe.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

0302Cicero2017081020180402 (R4)

Natalie Haynes stands up for the Roman orator, Cicero.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of the Roman lawyer, politician and orator Cicero. Maybe we'd all love him a bit more if Shakespeare had had a nicer Latin teacher. Expect a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago.

With special guests lawyer Mark Stephens and Professor Llewelyn Morgan.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

0303Lucian2017081720180409 (R4)

Natalie Haynes stands up for the little-known but super-influential Greek writer Lucian.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of Greek writer Lucian. Expect to hear about the possible origins of 'The Life of Brian', the possible inspiration for Mickey Mouse and a trip to the moon about a thousand years before NASA.

With special guests Professor Edith Hall and Matthew Sweet.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

0304 LASTJuvenal2017082420180416 (R4)

Natalie Haynes stands up for Roman satirist Juvenal. With guest Armando Iannucci.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a reformed comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome.

Today she stands up in the name of Greek writer Lucian. Expect to hear about the possible origins of 'The Life of Brian', the possible inspiration for Mickey Mouse and a trip to the moon about a thousand years before NASA.

With special guests Professor Edith Hall and Matthew Sweet.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

04Euripides20180813

Natalie Haynes stands up for Greek playwright Euripides, whose Medea still shocks.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of playwright Euripides. Feminist, anti-war, ironic, full of subtext: his work displays strikingly modern sensibilities and his Medea still has the power to shock.

With special guests playwright Mark Ravenhill and classicist Professor Edith Hall.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

04Horace20180806

Natalie Haynes stands up for Roman poet Horace. With guests Llewelyn Morgan and Ben Okri.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Horace, the Roman poet who made friends of his enemies through the beauty of his writing, whom we all still quote today, often without realising. You know that bit of Latin in the Wilfred Owen poem? That's Horace. The son of a freedman, Horace was a master at avoiding political controversy. He was no looker, being by his own account short and fat, but he definitely had a racy side (think mirrors on the ceiling).

A town mouse, a country mouse, and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago.

With special guests novelist and poet Ben Okri and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

04Livy20180820

Natalie Haynes stands up in the name of Roman historian Livy. With Al Murray.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Roman historian Livy, who gave us Hannibal crossing the Alps and the inspiration for Shakespeare's Coriolanus. Meticulously researched facts or a damn fine story? History or myth? Mostly the latter, but priceless nonetheless.

Elephants, early science and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago.

With special guests comedian - and history buff - Al Murray and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

04Phryne20180730

Natalie Haynes stands up for Phryne, the Greek courtesan famed for her wit and beauty.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Phryne, the Greek courtesan famed for her extraordinary wit and beauty. Glossy of skin and a model for statues of the goddess Aphrodite, Phryne was as clever as they come and minted to boot.

Outrage, outrageousness and as always, a lot of gossip from a couple of thousand years ago.

With special guests comedian Katy Brand and classicist Professor Edith Hall.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0401Phyrne20180730

Natalie Haynes stands up for Phryne, the Greek courtesan famed for her wit and beauty.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Phryne, the Greek courtesan famed for her extraordinary wit and beauty. Glossy of skin and a model for statues of the goddess Aphrodite, Phryne was as clever as they come and minted to boot.

Outrage, outrageousness and as always, a lot of gossip from a couple of thousand years ago.

With special guests comedian Katy Brand and classicist Professor Edith Hall.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0402Horace20180806

Natalie Haynes stands up for Roman poet Horace. With guests Llewelyn Morgan and Ben Okri.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Horace, the Roman poet who made friends of his enemies through the beauty of his writing, whom we all still quote today, often without realising. You know that bit of Latin in the Wilfred Owen poem? That's Horace. The son of a freedman, Horace was a master at avoiding political controversy. He was no looker, being by his own account short and fat, but he definitely had a racy side (think mirrors on the ceiling).

A town mouse, a country mouse, and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago.

With special guests novelist and poet Ben Okri and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0403Euripides20180813

Natalie Haynes stands up for Greek playwright Euripides, whose Medea still shocks.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of playwright Euripides. Feminist, anti-war, ironic, full of subtext: his work displays strikingly modern sensibilities and his Medea still has the power to shock.

With special guests playwright Mark Ravenhill and classicist Professor Edith Hall.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.

0404 LASTLivy20180820

Natalie Haynes stands up in the name of Roman historian Livy. With Al Murray.

Natalie Haynes creates stand-up routines about figures from ancient Greece and Rome.

Join Natalie Haynes and guests for half an hour of comedy and the Classics from the BBC Radio Theatre in London.

Natalie is a recovering comedian who is a little bit obsessive about Ancient Greece and Rome. Each week she takes a different figure from the Ancient World and tells their story through a mix of stand-up comedy and conversation.

Today she stands up in the name of Roman historian Livy, who gave us Hannibal crossing the Alps and the inspiration for Shakespeare's Coriolanus. Meticulously researched facts or a damn fine story? History or myth? Mostly the latter, but priceless nonetheless.

Elephants, early science and a lot of gossip from a thousand years ago.

With special guests comedian - and history buff - Al Murray and classicist Professor Llewelyn Morgan.
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.