London

Homer's Iliad performed in 15-hour London epic

  • 15 August 2015
  • From the section London
Joseph K (aka Rory Kinnear) reading Book 7 Image copyright Almeida Theatre
Image caption Actor Rory Kinnear takes to the stage to read Book Seven of the Iliad

A 15-hour performance of one of the longest ancient poems has been performed in London.

More than 60 actors took part in Homer's Iliad which tells part of the story of the Trojan War.

The performance started at the British Museum and finished at the Almeida Theatre. It was also streamed online.

After the performance, director Rupert Goold tweeted: "Yesterday we made war together. Today @AlmeidaTheatre sends all our warriors love."

Cast members included actors Simon Russell Beale, John Simm, Ben Whishaw and Brian Cox.

Image copyright Emma Cole
Image caption Emma Cole said: "Who would have thought that people would queue to see a 16 hour reading of the Iliad?"
Image copyright Gabriel Sainhas/Almeida Theatre
Image caption As the cast learn their lines backstage people in the museum gathered around to hear some of the 15,000 lines

People queued outside the British Museum ahead of the performance on Saturday morning. Emma Cole, who was among the audience, tweeted: "Who would have thought that people would queue to see a 16 hour reading of the #Iliad?"

Katy Swift tweeted: "Never thought I'd find Iliad accessible- how wonderful it is! Bravo."

For people just wanting a snapshot of the epic, @IliadLive tweeted the salient points of the poem in 399 tweets, the final being: "ILIAD UPDATE: it's finished. #iliad."

The Iliad was performed as part of a one-off festival, Almeida Greeks, which runs until October and includes a number of debates about ancient and contemporary culture as well as stage productions of ancient Greek tragedies Oresteia, Bakkhai and Medea.

Image copyright ALmeida Projects
Image caption As part of the moving production Marco Brondon read his lines on the bus
Image copyright Emma Cole
Image caption For those wanting to watch the performance from home, it was also streamed live

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