Date 9th February 2024
Society Chesil Theatre (Winchester Dramatic Society)
Venue Chisel Theatre Winchester
Type of Production Classical Play
Director Nicky Hubbard
Written By Aristophanes (Adapted by Nicky Hubbard)


Author: Mark Allen

This was the second and final offering of Chesil Youth Theatre, this time it was the turn of the older "Senior" section. Their ages range across early teens.

Lysistrata, written by Aristophanes back in 411bc tells the story of a group of Greek women, tired of raising children (bathing, feeding and burping) and led by Lysistrata, the main protagonist, as to how they can get their menfolk (all of whom seem constantly away fighting in the Peloponnesian war) to listen and come home. The idea is to baracade themselves in the Acropolis and have no communication or interaction (both mentally and phisically) untill they can stand it no longer. Let "battle" commence.

A simple set with the aforementioned Acropolis projected onto the backcloth along with two Greek plinths either side of the stage (front right and front left) and six stage flats three either side, scene changes were kept to a minimum. The lighting was bright and effective.

The leading cast was confident and obviously well rehearsed by their director Nicky Hubbard. Diction was very clear, you could follow the story well and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. This came across into the auditorium and we were very well entertained. The ladies were well led by Betrice Shambrook and backed up by Ivy Parsons (Kalonike), Amelie Haigh (Myrrhine), Elysium Haigh (Lampito), Esmie Raj (Xanthipi) and Matilda Hubbard as Nikomache very well. They all looked very comfortable with their stage perception and were all very confident with their deliveries. The rest of the cast all knew where they where supposed to be, why and when. Any mistakes were certainly not felt or noticed in the audience.

The costumes were, as you would expect from a Greek play, mostly all white toga's but each of the principles were adorned with bright single coloured sashes that stood out really well against a predominantly white set and background.

I am, as representative for NODA, very fortunate to have the likes of Chesil Youth Theatre, Encore and Footlights in my district. The talent pool is very strong and with that in mind the future of theatre in my little part of Hampshire is very well assured. 

Congratulations to all involved this was a more than creditable effort. Good luck for whatever comes next, I'll be on the look out!