Thursday, February 19, 2015


IT's LGBT History Month in London and our friends at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology are outdoing themselves this year by staging a readers' theatre production of the world's only radio play about Antinous: THE GLASS BALL GAME 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. February 24.

In past years the Petrie held Antinous-related lectures, art exhibits and film events to standing-room-only audiences. 

This time they are offering this unprecedented live reading of Mike Walker’s 2005 BBC radio play. 

Set in Egypt, 130 AD, "The Glass Ball Game" examines the tragic relationship between the Emperor Hadrian and the beautiful youth. 

It will be performed by a cast of professional actors, with Antinous being played by British actor Adam Slynn (right).

The production will be performed in the PETRIE MUSEUM gallery itself, with audience and actors surrounded by one of the world's largest collections of Egyptian antiquities.

"It's a fascinating and important work, which presents an interpretation of the shadowy events leading to the untimely death and subsequent deification of the enigmatically beautiful Antinous," says JOHN J JOHNSTON, Egyptologist and director of this production.

"The lustrous and instantly identifiable image of Antinous is to be found in museums and galleries throughout the modern world, from the Renaissance onwards," Johnston says.

"Antinous is surprisingly rarely represented in drama, so this production of Mike Walker’s thought-provoking drama is something of a first, not only for the Petrie but also in the popular reception of Antinous," adds Johnston, who lectures frequently on Antinous and his continuing influence on art, literature and LGBT people throughout the ages. 

"Although we’ve presented drama and comedy in the Petrie Museum previously, I was keen to bring this radio into the unique space offered by the Petrie, whilst still paying appropriate homage to its radio origins," says Johnston (left with the famous "Berlin Head"). 

"I’ve been delighted by the commitment and dedication of our cast who fully inhabit the historical characters they portray. I’m also particularly delighted to be able to welcome Mike Walker, the play’s author, onto the stage after the performance, for a discussion of his researches and inspiration. It should be a fascinating and thrilling evening."

Seating is limited so reservations are imperative: Doors open at 6 p.m. on 24 February for the performance at the Petrie Museum and the event begins at 6:30, allowing the audience to spend some time engaging with the museum's 80,000 artefacts.  

Tickets are £10.00 and include a glass of wine upon entry.

The performance will be followed by a discussion between the playwright, Mike Walker, and Egyptologist, John J Johnston. Contact:  
020 7679 4138 |

by Mike W Walker
Antinous – Adam Slynn
Hadrian – Alex Blake
Suetonius – Jack Baldwin
Sabina – Becky Pennick 
Julia – Melkorka Oskarsdottir
Pachrates – Jim Scott.

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