Acropolis Now (radio)

Acropolis Now
Genre Comedy
Running time 30 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring Stephen Moore,
Alan Cox,
Robert Hardy,
Tom George
Written by Lynne Truss
Air dates 19 December 2000 to 9 April 2002
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12

Acropolis Now is a BBC Radio sitcom set in Ancient Greece, written by the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in two series in 2000 and 2002, with subsequent reruns on BBC 7 (later BBC Radio 4 Extra) in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Acropolis Now follows the fictional adventures of historical Greek characters in Athens: Heraclitus, Aristophanes, Socrates, Plato, Xanthippe, and the Oracle. It is loosely narrated by a chorus, in the convention of Greek dramas (the Chorus was dispensed with in the second series).

Aristophanes, in addition to being a playwright (all of his plays have the title "One of Our [Subject] Has An Enormous Knob"), owns a seafood restaurant near the Acropolis; just before the series begins, he "rescues" his brother Heraclitus from the bush he had been living in. With Athens under siege by the Spartans, Heraclitus reluctantly takes charge of the food preparation area, with Socrates appreciating Heraclitus more for his cooking than for his stoicism. Aristophanes and Heraclitus's mother, identified only as the Oracle, is a former Pythia who took a sabbatical from Delphi because the "signs" she sees in her visions are commonplace 20th century traffic signs and posters.

Xanthippe is a pervert, that is a heterosexual, in a society where homosexuality is normal. She has a crush on Socrates' friend Plato, who is oblivious to her advances.

Frequent mention is made of Cynthia the Contortionist Flute-girl in suggestive contexts, but she never appears in person.

The nature of the chorus varies from episode to episode. It may be the fish deliverymen on their daily round, a gang of former Olympians looking for a free meal, a band of sex-mad Spartans or the "unbelievably affable ones" (cheerful versions of the Furies) come to collect Socrates and take him to Hades. Several male voices speak in unison, with a lead voice underlining the occasional detail. The chorus was largely abandoned for the second series, with Heraclitus instead providing a brief introduction starting with the fact that he hates Athens.


Series 1

Series 2

External links

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