Star of the BBC Radio 4 series, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, Natalie brings her unique combination of ancient history and stand-up comedy to theatres and festivals in 2020, following her 100+ date tour, Honour Among Thebes.
Natalie spent 12 years as a stand-up comedian, before returning to her first love with her book, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. To coincide with her latest novel, A Thousand Ships (publ. May 2, 2019), she will take audiences on a tour around Trojan War, the greatest conflict in ancient literature, perhaps in literature full stop. From the causes of the war (divine displeasure) to its complex aftermath, this show encompasses some of the greatest poetry ever written: The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Oresteia, The Trojan Women and much more. The stories of the women whose lives the war affected have been largely untold, from the Amazon warrior, Penthesilea, to the priestess who saw the whole thing coming, Cassandra. Continuing a project she began with her novel, The Children of Jocasta, Natalie takes the women out of the shadows and puts them back where they belong: in the middle of the story.
'A Thousand Ships' was short listed for 2020 Wome's Prize for Fiction Award.
Her most recent non-fiction book, Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myth was published in Oct 2020, and reached number 2 in the New York Times Bestseller chart. Her novel about Medusa, Stone Blind, was published in Sep 2022 and Margaret Atwood liked it. So did Neil Gaiman.
This show is a great opportunity to connect with a young audience; Classical civilisation is on the rise in schools, and Natalie’s radio and television work has proved very popular with young people: she has been invited to speak at universities, schools and book festivals all over the world, from London to Sydney, Cheltenham to Chicago.
Here she is in action, talking about Socrates for BBC 4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4QpWSzhyJh936LvXWTkcdNC/classic-good-looks-our-debt-to-the-ancient-greeks
What people are saying....
“Natalie Haynes's Stand Up For the Classics recording on BBC Radio 4 last night simply brilliant. She talked - fluently and wittily and so knowledgeably - on Livy then Horace for almost two hours. I learnt a lot, effortlessly.” – Amanda Craig
“Now I know what apocolocyntosis means and why Cinderella feared it .... ! Two fabulous talks today by the extraordinarily leaned and funny Natalie Haynes with Royal High Sixth Formers enthralled.“ - RHSB Sixth Form
“I LOVE Natalie Haynes - great writer and completely reasonable and realistic. Eloquence is hers.” - Jojo Scoble,
“Natalie Haynes is brilliant. A very funny and intelligent storyteller.TV panel shows, with the occasional exception, are neither funny nor intelligent.” – Dr Rob O’Toole
“Glorious, gripping and brutal...I loved it” - Victoria Derbyshire review of Natalie Haynes' new novel
“Natalie Haynes is always ace on Newsnight Review.” – Dave Haslam
“Natalie' still making comedy, most notably as a regular on Wordaholics & with 4 series of Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics, both for.The latter is a series of stand-up sets which are at once insightful, impassioned & as sharp & funny as anything on the radio.” - Benjamin Moore
“A conversation of mythic proportions with this trio of terrific women, about giving voice to women characters confined to the margins of epics for centuries.”
“Natalie Haynes stunning her young audience with the links between Aristotle and Eastenders.” - Patrick Gale
“Natalie Haynes is a brilliant, very funny stand-up comic & passionate believer in the power of classical literature” – off the shelf
“wonderful and hilarious talk from Natalie Haynes to kick off history talks at glolitfest” – Jude Rodrigues
“People don’t stop being interesting just because they are past their 20s, Natalie Haynes answers to the BBC we’re so good. I want to be her friend. “ - Barbara Halla
“So delighted that there’s another series of Natalie Haynes Stands Up For The Classics on BBC Radio 4. It is, for my money, the best history (ish) radio show being made right now, as well as being brilliantly funny” - John Gallagher
Natalie Haynes will talk about 'Revitalising Classics'. Great Hall 5.30pm - 6.30pm. Advance price tickets £7 On the Day price tickets £10 [subject to availability]