"It's only a story, a collection of stories. From long, long ago."
The Satyricon is a collection of stories written by Gaius (sometimes Caius or Titus) Petronius in the first century CE/AD. Narrated by the student Encolpius it follows the adventures he has with his boyfriend Giton and fellow-student Ascyltos. Many of these are sexual - both among the three and with the many women and men they encounter in towns, the countryside and on the sea. In addition there are stories of thievery and trickery told by other characters in the novel. Highlights - or lowlights - include the lengthy feast given by the wealthy boor Trimalchio and the various pleasant and painful treatments Encolpius undergoes to recover from impotence.
The text that has survived to the present day is incomplete. Over the years other people, from Francis Nodot in the seventeenth century to the Italian director Federico Fellini in 1969, have added their own tales. Some of these appear indistinguishable from the original - others have a style or content that feels very different. Our version draws mostly on Petronius' writing but, like many of his characters, we're not averse to helping ourselves to what we need from others when we need it.
Come to the theatre and join us when Petronius introduces to the audience his heroes (or antiheroes, depending on your point of view). There will be singing - although it may not be very good - and dancing (ditto). There will be chases and violence and various couplings and we'll try to put it all together in some form of good taste.
Those people at the back of the stage? They're Actors, waiting to be called to fulfill this role or that. Ah, they're coming together now as the Crowd for the first scene. Our three young men have just arrived in the city and Encolpius cannot resist the opportunity to harangue the public on any topic that comes to mind. A pity that Giton is nowhere to be seen and Ascyltos has also wandered off - particularly because Encolpius cannot remember where their lodgings are. But luckily that old woman is helping him. Or is she? Is that really the right direction? Why is she pushing him into that building?
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Based in Edinburgh since 2014, Arbery Productions
is an occasional group of theatre creatives with a track record of successful productions.
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