The theatres of Pompey and Marcellus

TUESDAY 30 APRIL 18.00–19.30 

Frank Sear (Melbourne)

The component parts of a Roman theatre will be explained, followed by a brief discussion of the kinds of performances which took place in a Roman theatre. Then the surviving Roman theatres, as well as the Odeon of Domitian, will be shown on a plan of Rome. The theatres of Pompey and Marcellus will be discussed more fully. Only the outline of the Theatre of Pompey is visible and parts of it can be visited in the basements of series of restaurants and hotels in Rome. There was a plan to isolate the theatre in the 1930s which would have involved pulling down many of the surrounding buildings. This plan was fortunately never fully implemented, but the proposals will be examined here using old photographs. The theatre of Marcellus, on the other hand, was ‘isolated’ during the Fascist period. This resulted in the destruction of Piazza Montanara and the building of the Via del Mare. This is discussed, once again using old photographs. These will show what the area looked like in the 1930s and what it looks like today.