Five reasons to see… Dido, Queen of Carthage

Director Michael Oakley explains what Christopher Marlowe’s neglected masterpiece has to offer

statue of Dido by Christophe Cochet
statue of Dido by Christophe Cochet

1. A rare opportunity

Dido, Queen of Carthage is a neglected masterpiece, so the Cambridge Marlowe Society's production is a great opportunity to see this rarely-performed play. It's a powerfully resonant tale of obsessive love with a few of Marlowe's characteristic
and subversive twists thrown in!

2. A female lead

It is the only play Marlowe wrote with a female protagonist. There are some fantastic parts in this play and, excitingly, it contains the most parts for women in all of Marlowe's plays.

3. A festival

This production launches the Marlowe Festival, celebrating the 450th anniversary of the playwright's birth. To celebrate, Cambridge University's prestigious Marlowe Society is staging his complete works over the next 12 months. Marlowe wrote Dido whilst he was an undergraduate here, so there's no better place to see it.

4. A unique theatrical experience

See the production in exciting site-specific venues. We're very lucky to have been granted permission to perform in the beautiful and intimate Christopher Wren-designed chapel at Emmanuel College, followed by a special one-off gala performance in the stunning
surroundings of Senate House.

5. A composer of genius

No composer can ever beat Henry Purcell's response to the story of Dido and Aeneas, so we're using some of the sublime music from his opera in our production, which will be played by a brilliantly-talented set of musicians on baroque instruments.

– Michael Oakley (director)