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Mary Beard: I refuse shows that feature B-list actors in costume

Prof Mary Beard says historical reconstructions are “excruciating” and she agrees to front TV documentaries only if there is a ban on anyone appearing in period costume.

The TV presenter and historian said she would tell producers there must be “no drama reconstructions in any programme made by me; no B-list actors dressed up in sheets, saying ‘Do pass the grapes, Marcus.’

“I insisted … there should be none of those awful scenes where some none-too-good actors pretend to be Romans at a banquet or recreate the scene of the death of Socrates or whatever,” Beard will say in a speech to the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, a consumer group that champions public service broadcasting.

“I’m not talking about the excellent [broadcaster] Lucy Worsley here; Lucy trying clothes on is rather different.”

Beard, a professor of classics at Cambridge University, will say she finds drama reconstruction “excruciating to watch”, adding that there is a “bigger historical issue at stake”. ...

Read entire article at The Guardian