Chris Vervain Mask Theatre
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Vervain Theatre Production

The Grouch and his Daughter by Chris Vervain (and Menander)

I have recently turned to ancient Greek New Comedy and  the surviving plays of Menanader, a playwright writing in the fourth century BCE.which I have adapted to enhance the humour, and to take a more feminist perspective.

Menander's "Grouch"  is an example of the genre we now call 'New Comedy' which featured domestic households with stock characters, such as young men in love, irascible fathers, clever slaves, beautiful prostitutes. My adaptation develops these characters to give them life and contemporary relevance.

These ancient plays have come down to us in fragmentary form.  However most of the Grouch, has survived and I have utilised the extant text (in modern English translation) and added new material of my own.  In the original,  performances would have included several song and dance numbers by a chorus.  The text for these dances has not survived but I have written some new ones, basing them on ancient and modern models. These round out the play, giving it more potential to provide a satisfying theatrical experience.

A paperback of the play is available on Amazon, and can be performed royalty free.



A workshop performance of the play in January 2020, by Chris Vervain Mask Theatre, has been filmed and the complete performance is viewable on Youtube as The Grouch and his Daughter. Some short extracts are also available  here, here and here.  

Some images from the performance are shown below.

Production Images
The couples Gaggle of Women Choral dance 3 Getas and Sikon
Gorgias, Sostratos,Daos Knemon on couch Choral Dance 4 Kallipides and Sostratos
Getas dances Myrrhine and Simiche Getas and Sikon Sostratos with mattock
Sikon and Sheep Pan with Girl and Sostratos Knemon, Getas,Sikon dance Plangon and family
Sostratos and Girl Knemon and Sikon Chaireas, Sostratos and Pyrrhias Knemon, Simiche and Getas