PARTY WOMEN by Rod Dungate


This is not a polite version of the original; indeed it endeavours to strike the same tone as the Ancient Greek version.  An Oxford Classics professor, with whom I worked closely, offered the suggestion that, in her opinion, it gets closer to the original than any other versions.

Ancient Greek comedy doesn’t work the same way as our comedy today.  But what is surprising is that we are still laughing at the same jokes – so humour hasn’t changed.  Somehow that’s a beautiful link over more than 2000 years.

In this comedy Aristophanes has the idea that the women of Athens trick their husbands, steal their clothes and then go off and run the Parliament.  Whether the playwright is pro-women or against the idea is very much up to your interpretation.

The play contains what could well be the earliest dramatic love duet.

The number and gender of performers is very open-ended.  However, there is, in the script, guidance on performing the work with:

3 Men & 3 Women

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The play is written to be performed by 3 Men and 3 Women – a breakdown of the doubling combination can be see in the Preview


Praxagora, a young, politically minded woman

Blepyrus, her husband and older than she is


Woman Neighbour

Man Neighbour, her lover

Other Women

Chremes, a Citizen coming from the Assembly

Siko, one of Chremes’s slaves

Parmenon, one of Chremes’s slaves

Woman Herald

Man (a Cynical Man)

Old Woman 1

Old Woman 2 Old Woman 3 Young Woman

Young Man

Praxagora’s Maid

Two Young Women (or One Young Woman)



Preview available here

Additional information

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