The magic and mystery of Ancient Greece with Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry took his audience at Hay on an adventure. From a tent in Wales, he transported them back through time, to an age of magic, myth and legend.

Delving into the dialogue of some of ancient Greece's most well-known protagonists - from Paris and Helen to Athena and Aphrodite - the audience were treated to a magical experience: a reading of his unpublished manuscript. 

The story is one of Troy - the mystical heart of ancient Greece. He spoke of the Trojan War and the appeal of writing about such well-known narratives. "I hope you agree," he said, "the story is enticing. It contains all the elements of the stories that we love." 

Delving into the etymology of the Greek vocabulary that peppers his prose, Fry explained how the stories and language of Ancient Greece blossomed into the literature we know and love today. 

He was accompanied on stage by the celebrated illustrator, Chris Riddell, whose witty drawings reacted to the often comical literature Fry read aloud. The result was a collective belly laugh around the tent. 

In the Q&A session that followed his reading, he told tales of his childhood, touching on his love of words as a boy. "Language, that was the key for me," he said. "It's opened every door that's ever been opened to me." 

Picture by Matthew Hary. 

If you are interested in events like this one please also see event 140 which is on at 2.30pm tomorrow. If you like watching Hay Festival events digitally please sign up to the Hay Player for more from the world’s greatest writers and thinkers.