Seneca Annoyed

Do we live in an age of rage? And if so, what can we learn about our furious feelings, and how to control them, from the experiences and ideas of great thinkers in the past? Those are the questions explored in a pair of thought-provoking and darkly funny new audio dramas by playwright Craig Baxter, commissioned by the Living With Feeling project at Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for the History of the Emotions, and directed and produced by Natalie Steed.

SENECA ANNOYED is a philosophical tragicomedy about emotions and ideas set in ancient Rome. When the order comes to him from Emperor Nero that he kill himself, the Stoic philosopher Seneca determines to dispatch himself in a calm and dignified manner. He hasn’t counted, though, on the frailty of his own body, the incompetence of his friends, or the blind fury of his wife, Paulina.

CAST: Seneca is played by Adam Kotz, Paulina by Jasmine Hyde, and Fabius by Geoffrey Streatfeild. The centurion is Michael Bertenshaw.

Produced and directed by Natalie Steed.
Recorded by David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown.

Did you like this episode, or did it fill you with rage? Let us know what you thought by contacting us at @emotionshistory, or email

The Emotions Lab