Cyprus Mail

The battle of the sexes

The International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama kicks off on Sunday in Paphos with a performance of Aristophanes’ multi-faceted comedy The Poet and the Women.

The plot revolves around a group of women who wish to get rid of Euripides, who in their opinion is a misogynist, feeling insulted by the way he abuses them in his tragedies. Plotting as women do, they decide to take advantage of the Festival of Demeter and set in motion a plan to destroy him.

Knowing of the way the women feel about him, Euripides sends his friend Mnesilochus, dressed as a woman, to go to the celebration – that is strictly forbidden for men – in order to defend him. Mnesilochus goes along with the plan but, in his over-eager attempt to justify Euripides, he betrays his sex and things get complicated.

As always with plays where men dress as women or women dress as men, the issues may be very serious but the way in which they are presented gets a lot of laughs.

The Poet and the Women
Performance of the comedy by Aristophanes. July 3. Paphos Ancient Odeon. 9pm. €10/5. With English and Russian subtitles. Tel: 70-002414

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