Number of pages: 168
Date of publication: 2015
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Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one Judeo-Christian and the other Pagan. Both Christians and Pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the Spring Equinox for millennia. Most religious historians believe that many elements of the established order.
In 2002 BBC Radio 3 commissioned a sequence of plays from writer Andrew Rissik to be broadcast in the run-up to Easter 2004. In these separate but thematically-linked 90-minute dramas Rissik presents three stories of confrontations between the forces of change and the established order.
The second play The Art Of Love – which starred Robert Hardy and Stephen Dillane – shows how the popular but subversive and anti-militaristic Roman poet of love, Ovid clashes with the ageing emperor Augustus Caesar, who resents his growing imaginative hold over Roman society.
Andrew Rissik is a British scriptwriter, arts journalist and critic best known for the BBC Radio 3 trilogy, Troy and the five-part thriller serial for Radio 4, The Psychedelic Spy.
He was born in 1955, educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a Double First in English in 1977. After a short period as a junior academic, he moved to London in 1979, where he taught part time, worked as a script reader for the BBC and contributed to many newspapers and magazines, including Time Out, The New Statesman and The Times.
In 1983 he published a book on the films of Sean Connery, The James Bond Man. He was theatre critic at The Independent from 1986 to 1988, and from 1999 to 2001 a lead book reviewer for The Guardian. His full time writing and journalistic career came to an end in 1988 when he was diagnosed with M.E., from which he still suffers.
Most of his dramatic work has been done for BBC Radio Drama, although a tv play was broadcast by Thames in 1981. Blue Pacific Island (Radio 4 1985) was followed by the trilogy A Man Alone in 1986 (the first part of which won a Giles Cooper Award), and by a five-part thriller The Psychedelic Spy in 1990. King Priam, a one-hour account of the Trojan war starring Paul Scofield, was broadcast in 1987 and led to a four-and-a-half-hour, three-play development of the subject, Troy, which won wide acclaim a decade later on BBC Radio 3 in 1998.
A further thematically-linked three-play sequence - Dionysos, The Art of Love and Resurrection - was broadcast by Radio 3 at Easter in 2004.
“I went to the Roman Empire on Sunday evening with Andrew Rissik on Radio 3. Rissik is a glorious writer, thoughtful, poetic and scholarly" - Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph
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