Petronius’ Satyricon

Available on Amazon Kindle: the stage adaptation of Petronius’ Satyricon, the late 1st century AD Roman novel, which I edited and staged for the very first time on 30th January 2006 in the Debating Chambers, Glasgow University Union.

Encolpius: Giton tell me, and be honest about it, the night Ascyltus stole you from me, did he remain awake to rape you, or was he satisfied to spend the night chastely apart from you?

Giton (touching his eyes): I swear that Ascyltus did not take me by force.

Encolpius embraces Giton again. 

Demon: If there is a drop of self-respecting blood in you, you will regard the nancy-boy as no better than a prostitute.

Encolpius (to Giton) : Kiss me while you can and snatch this joy from the impatient Fates

Demon: Enough!  (The Demon does something that will ‘take Giton out’, he either faints or is knocked out).  Because you are conscious of your own sexual attractions, you play hard to get, and you sell your favours rather than offering them freely.  If you’re selling what I’m after, you’ve found a buyer.  You’re a slave with no pretensions and that’s precisely why you fire my lady’s passion, and she’s on heat.  Scum rouses some women; they don’t feel randy unless their eyes are on slaves.  Some get excited in the arena, or with someone disgracing himself as an actor, making an exhibition of himself on stage.  Some go in for kissing the traces of the whip. (Traces down his back and pushes him towards Circes, or traces down his face and beckons on Circe).

Encolpius: What is your name?

Circe: Circe.  My name is Circe.  If the Fates unite us I shall be in heaven’s debt.

They embrace and kiss, but after a while it is obvious that Encolpius is impotent.  He breaks away.

Circe: So, what’s the problem?  Do you not like my kiss?  Am I lacking in vigour?  Does fear of Giton haunt you?

Encolpius: Princess…

But she has turned to the Demon.

Circe: Am I unattractive?  Dishevelled?  Does a blemish of nature cast a cloud over my beauty?

Exit.

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