The Almeida Theatre is today staging an epic reading of The Iliad in its entirety and, with readers including Simon Russell Beale and Lesley Manville, the Homer piece has become one of the UK’s top trending topics today on social media.
While a reading of a classic text that will take more than 12 hours to complete may seem an unlikely Twitter sensation, users have been taking to the platform to interact with the rare live streamed event and to share their appreciation for the incredible performances using the hashtag #Iliad
— kate frank (@katefrank) August 14, 2015
— Lillian Rodriguez (@Lillian4444) August 14, 2015
— Emma John (@em_john) August 14, 2015
Obviously Homer was pretty awesome but these actors are EPIC. Word Warriors! #Iliad
— Miriam Gillinson (@miriamgillinson) August 14, 2015
The theatre’s Artistic Director Rupert Goold and Robert Icke’s co-directed reading began in the British Museum’s imposing Great Court at 09:00, with Russell Beale the first Olivier Award winner of the total 13 today to take to the podium.
— Katri (@katri_leikola) August 14, 2015
— Nick Clark (@MrNickClark) August 14, 2015
Many of the stars to perform so far, which have also included forthcoming Medea-lead Kate Fleetwood, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’s Jonathan Slinger and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’s Katie Brayben, have also taken to Twitter to share their experience of the unique event.
Thank you for all the lovely tweets about the Iliad! It was really quite nerve wracking but what an experience. Amazing text/performers
— Katie Brayben (@trixiepig) August 14, 2015
— kate fleetwood (@katefleetwood) August 14, 2015
The reading is set to continue for several more hours and will culminate with a ticketed performance at the Almeida Theatre from 20:00.
— Almeida Theatre (@AlmeidaTheatre) August 14, 2015
Theatre fans who have missed today’s once in a lifetime event or for those already dreading the dramatic story’s end, the Almeida Theatre will be releasing exclusive Iliad podcasts and a behind the scenes film in the coming weeks.