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Director Q&A: 'Dido, Queen of Carthage'

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: 'Dido, Queen of Carthage' is only showing for six weeks - see www.rsc.org.uk/dido for more details

THE RARELY-told story of an all-consuming love, 'Dido, Queen of Carthage' plays for a limited six-week run in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

What is your identity if your nation has been destroyed? Fleeing his war-torn home, Aeneas is a refugee seeking new roots in a hostile Europe. Queen Dido is ready to help, but what happens when the Gods intervene and turn help into an all-consuming love?

Don’t miss this intense tale of human passion, with Chipo Chung as the powerful and enigmatic Dido, Queen of Carthage.

The Voice spoke to Director Kimberley Sykes to find out more about this incredible story:

Q: Who was Dido?

A: Dido was Queen of Carthage and the founder of Carthage. She was a Princess of Tyre and fled Lebanon because her brother was trying to assassinate her. So, she did this thing where she got the best minds of Lebanon together, commandeered a ship, sailed to Carthage and began a new society, a new nation, where she became the leader of the most successful empire of the time.

Q: Who was Aeneas?

Aeneas was a Trojan refugee and it was his destiny to go and found Italy. He was responsible for founding Italy, he was responsible for founding Rome, and the rest of Western civilisation. He travelled for seven years on a boat, through the Mediterranean from a war-torn land, to find a better life in Western Europe.

WATCH THE TRAILER, BELOW:

Q: Why did you want to direct Dido, Queen of Carthage?

A: I wanted to direct Dido, Queen of Carthage because I like a challenge and it’s a play that’s so rarely done – and I’m interested in why that is. What I love about Dido is the writing is urgent, its messy, the characters say what they think, they think what they say, they follow their instincts and impulses. It feels a lot like modern day and to me that’s very exciting.

Q: Tell us more about Chipo Chung, the actress playing Dido

A: Chipo is going to be an extraordinary Dido. She has such an enigmatic quality to her. She cares passionately about women’s stories. She’s deeply connected to ideas of myth and has a respect for civilisations that have come before us. She has a regality, the most incredible presence – yet she’s not afraid to be messy, not afraid to be ugly, and not afraid to be real.

Q: Why should people come and see Dido, Queen of Carthage?

A: It tells the story of what happened before Rome was founded. Dido is the story of an incredibly powerful, charismatic, complicated woman who founded an empire – the most successful empire of its time. And I think so often, people think about leaders from that time and from that era as being male. Here is this historical figure who was killing it, who was remarkably successful, and I think people need to hear about her and who she was.

Find out more at: www.rsc.org.uk/dido or call the Box Office on 01789 403493.

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