Anonimo's Osteria: a gorging

Johnmichael Rossi, Rory ONeill

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Welcome to ANONIMO’S OSTERIA, based on Aeschylus’ Oresteia, a trilogy of plays circling around the House of Atreus, a family trapped in a cycle of revenge and haunted by the acts of vengeance committed by their ancestors. During the 2018-19 academic year, Drama students at the University of Northampton (UK) were tasked with deconstructing Aeschylus’ Oresteia in a collaborative process with their tutors, who modelled their own creative and professional practices as theatre-makers. The Oresteia is one of the oldest ancient playtexts that we have in its entirety; Aeschylus’ treatise on Athenian society’s reckoning with developing notions of justice. The students started the process by establishing their own individual research inquiries into the classic playtext to be deconstructed through practice in order to develop a new playtext collaboratively. We inevitably began questioning our own justice system, sharing with each other our personal notions of right and wrong, and fairness. As we held a mirror up to today’s society, the conversation grew heavy and dark, but an ensemble ethos of theatre-making and collaboration began to shed light for a way forward, though no concrete answers were reached when we quite simply asked: ‘What is Justice today?’ We did find a collective sense of openness, vulnerability and curiosity; the core ingredients to a creative process as students and staff became collaborators and fellow learners. This playtext is a trace of and documentation of our collective exploration and deconstruction of Aeschylus’ Oresteia which culminated in a performance production that transformed the House of Atreus into an ‘osteria,’ where the Anonimo family is haunted by the recipes of their ancestors. These recipes consume the family with Fate, Fear, Blame and Vengeance.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Number of pages159
ISBN (Print)978-1085968706
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Drama
  • theatre
  • new writing
  • Plays
  • Deconstruction
  • Theatre in Education
  • Greek Plays
  • Adaptation


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