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All hail Ovid the storyteller, Shakespeare's inspiration

The Wondrous Imagination of Ovid the Storyteller, Royal Shakespeare Company, October 8-28.

His work inspired William Shakespeare and no other writer from the classical world has had a bigger influence on European culture.

Now the Royal Shakespeare Company is to spend three weeks this autumn staging a series of events to celebrate and showcase the work of the Roman storyteller Ovid, the Bard's favourite poet.

The series begins on Sunday October 8 with 'In conversation: Ovid and Shakespeare' (2.30pm) ,a discussion exploring the poet's modern relevance and his influence on Shakespeare's writing, led by the RSC's Artistic Director Greg Doran (pictured below), with historian Michael Wood and journalist Charlotte Higgins.

A second event that afternoon, 'Tales From Ovid by Ted Hughes' (4pm), will feature a selection from Hughes's re-telling of Ovid's masterpiece Metamorphoses, chosen by Greg Doran and read by RSC actors.On Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 October (10.30am and 1.30pm), writer Amber Hsu will present 'Three Tales From Ovid', staged readings of three new plays for 8-11-year-olds, retold by Hsu.

Specially created education resources and workshops for Key Stage 2 children will be available. Also on October 12 (7.30pm), three of the UK's leading slam poets go head to head with Ovid and fellow Roman wordsmiths Horace and Virgil in a 'Dead Or Alive Poetry Slam'.'Musical Transformations, a Concert' on Thursday October 19 (7.30pm) features music and text inspired by Ovid in the work of Benjamin Britten and William Walton, alongside the world premiere of a new piece by the 2017 RSC Resident Composer Sarah Llewellyn.

On Tuesday October 24 (7.30pm) the series continues with a rehearsed reading of playwright Brad Birch's contemporary look at stories from Ovid's Metamorphoses, commissioned by the RSC.

In the final two events, storytellers Daniel Morden and Hugh Lupton will re-tell some of the tales from Metamorphoses.

The first event, on Friday October 27 (7.30pm), includes the stories of Arachne, Orpheus in the Underworld and the Death Of Adonis, and is aimed at an adult audience. The second event, on Saturday October 28 (1.30pm), is a family-friendly performance for children over the age of 8, featuring some of the most famous stories from the classical world, including Midas, Echo and Narcissus and the Theft Of Persephone.

To book tickets, call 01789 403493 or go online at



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