Fulham preparing ‘The Frogs’ for Butlins

Fulham are busy rehearsing their test piece for one of the most significant and fun events in the brass band calendar; The Butlins Mineworkers Open Brass Band Festival! This is taking place on the 21st and 22nd January in sunny Skegness and we will once again be competing in the Second section …

The piece that is occupying our efforts at the moment is by Granville Bantock, entitled: “The Frogs of Aristophanes”, written in 1935. It is a comedy overture, but I’m not sure that anyone in the band gets the joke at the moment.

Indeed, the play itself is not a barrel of laughs (although supposedly a comedy), with the God Dionysius having to be ferried across the Styx by Charon to bring Euripides back from the dead, which is the only place in the play where the frogs feature as a chorus. Bottom line is that people on the other side of the Styx are somewhat antagonistic (compare with a trip from modern day Liverpool to Birkenhead) since people had been nicking two headed dogs and causing no end of aggravation. Anyway, after a bit of discussion on torture and some ever-popular Greek debate, Dionysius leaves Hades with Aeschylus instead of Euripides. Showing he’s not all bad, Pluto allows Aeschylus to return to life so that Athens may be succoured in her hour of need, and invites everyone to a round of farewell drinks.

Strange that 1500 years on, Fulham are parallelling the journey of Dionysius in trying to revive a piece of music from the dead and after some torture and debate will hopefully return triumphant from Hades (well, Skegness anyway) after much celebration! We’ll keep you informed of the outcome of our travels in future posts…

(Many thanks to Steve Carney for taking the time out of our busy rehearsal schedule to research the meaning of The Frogs of Aristophanes)