Skip to navigationSkip to content

British actors are reading the whole of Homer’s Iliad aloud, for 15 hours

British actor Simon Callow.
AP Photo/Joel Ryan
Priam time.
  • Cassie Werber
By Cassie Werber

Cassie writes about the world of work.

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The battle started this morning, sometime after breakfast. The city of Troy was still standing then; but by this evening, it will be in ruins. Agamemnon and Achilles will have fallen out, with disastrous consequences. Hector will be dead.

Homer’s epic poem the Iliad is being read aloud in London today (Aug. 14) by a series of actors who began the 15-hour marathon at the British Library at 9am GMT. The reading, which can be watched online here, features many faces and voices most familiar from the UK stage including Simon Russell Beale, Simon Callow, Sinéad Cusack, Ben Whishaw, and Samuel West.

The epic reading is accompanied by live-tweeting of the unfolding events, including Greek godly activities, warrior squabbles, and omens:

The daytime reading is free. The piece culminates at the Almeida Theatre in London’s Islington run by Rupert Goold, who also directs the piece. He was reportedly inspired by watching a televised 24-hour dance marathon.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.