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Athens and Sparta are the two greatest city states in the Greek Empire. When the Peloponnesian War is declared, each side must present a united front. While Athenian men and Spartan boys are spurred on to fight by their leaders Pericles and Archidamus, Athenian First Lady Lysistrata and Spartan First Lady Lampito champion their country’s cause on the home front. But as the war rages on, as both side suffer great losses, Lysistrata and Lampito have the values that underpin their country challenged and must decide what are they fighting for and what they should do to make it stop?

Before Lysistrata explores the reasons why women from both sides of the political line might decide to work together. Exploring gender in politics, the role and nature of democracy and the heart, beauty and tragedy of both the Right and the Left, Before Lysistrata examines the humanity and failings of each side in the hope we can come together for the greater good. We have no answers, only hope, and dick jokes.


by Ellana Costa

Story by Ellana Costa and Michaela Savina

Directed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari

Produced by Imogen Gardam

With Ellana Costa, Alex Francis and Michaela Savina


"an intelligent, driven and timely treatise on what happens when women step from the shade thrown by great men."

"As always, Montague Basement come up with the goods, always pushing the boundaries against the gentrification and beautification of theatre, and maintaining a strong voice for the theatre that is most good for us."

"the performances are good and the ideas explored timely."

"Saro Lusty-Cavallari has employed some very inventive activities for the many scenes of the writing to present the arguments and expositions of the characters of Ms Costa's passionate vision statement."

Artwork by Hannah Cox