Almeida Theatre Announces Summer Festival: Almeida Greeks



As Oresteia opens the Almeida’s new season tonight, the theatre announces a major one-off festival.ALMEIDA GREEKS will run from June to October alongside the three main stage productions of Oresteia,Bakkhai and Medea. Inspired in spirit and form by the ancient Festivals of Dionysos, the Almeida Greeks festival will include an eclectic mix of performances, events, talks and readings as an array of contemporary artists interrogate the Ancient Greek canon.

One festival highlight will see more than 50 artists read Homer’s The Iliad in its entirety.  Directed by Rupert Goold and Robert Icke, this unique, marathon event will commence at the British Museum and move to finish on the Almeida stage.

The Almeida Greeks festival is inspired by original Greek practice and the ancient tradition of debate and discussion runs throughout with masterclasses, panels and discussion, interrogating the themes of the season. These will include From Atreus to Pistorius with author A.C. Grayling and Dr Jennifer Wallace, chaired by Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke; From Medea to Mumsnet with Rachel Cusk; From Dionysos to Dawkins, reflecting on religion and its impact on art today; and From Aristotle to Albert Square, an interactive panel exploring the significance of tragedy in art and society, led by Charlotte Higgins. Why Greeks Matter brings together leading directors of classical work Ivo van Hove, Deborah Warner and Rupert Goold to discuss why these texts remain so central to the wider theatrical ecology, while classics scholar Professor Edith Hall and director Bijan Sheibani unpack the Oedipus complex in one day in Oedipus Explored.

In the Ancient Greek spirit of revelling from dusk until dawn to celebrate the spirit of Bacchus, Almeida Greeks includes a Greek-themed Midnight Run, a walking night-time cultural journey by award-winning poetInua Ellams. Comedian, journalist and classicist Natalie Haynes will lead The Big Greek Quiz and atAlmeida Lates, Slow Club’s Rebecca Lucy Taylor headlines a selection of DJs who will play into the night in the Almeida bar allowing audiences to soak up the summer atmosphere.

Almeida Greeks will also present an eclectic range of music and live art echoing the entertainment that once followed the formal tragedies. This will include a timely reworking of Lysistrata by all-female ensembleGaggle; Early Opera Company performing Médée Furieuse; a day of musical Dionysia with Bakkhaicomposer Orlando Gough, mezzo soprano Çiğdem Aslan and members of the Bakkhai chorus; a new performance lecture by award-winning drag artist Dickie Beau on how he became inspired by the Greek canon; plus readings of three rarely performed Greek comedies directed by Blanche McIntyre, Ramin Grayand Fiona Laird.

For the full festival line-up please see listings below.

For now the nights move slowly and scarce end” – Homer

When Sat 18 Jul 6pm – 6am
Where Meet at Almeida Theatre Box Office
Tickets £15 (£13 concs)*
A walking, arts-filled, night-time cultural journey through London.  Award-winning poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams began the Midnight Run in 2005 after a bus failed to arrive on time. Now in its tenth year, the Almeida and Inua have collaborated to create a Greek-inspired Midnight Run. Join a host of artists as we reclaim the streets with Inua and explore the hidden spaces of our capital after dark. *Limited availability. Early booking advised. Participants must be physically fit and are advised to dress for the weather.

When Fri 14 Aug 9am – late
Where British Museum (from 9am) and Almeida Theatre (8pm- late)
Tickets British Museum free, Almeida Theatre £30 (£27 concs) for first 100 tickets. See for details.
This summer, join us for a rare opportunity to experience a complete reading of Homer’s The Iliad.
More than 50 artists bring this masterpiece to life, beginning at the British Museum and culminating on the Almeida stage with the wrath of Achilles. Directed by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold and Associate Director Robert Icke, Homer’s poem is the source myth of Greek drama and the greatest story of heroism, betrayal and war in literature. Join us for a few chapters or the entire tale—wherever your sense of adventure takes you.  The first 100 tickets will be sold at a special early-booking rate of £30 (£27 concs). For additional pricing and cast announcements visit

In association with the British Museum


“Leave no stone unturned” – Euripides

When Mon 8 June
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
Join Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, Ivo van Hove and Deborah Warner in conversation to mark the launch of Almeida Greeks. As three of the world’s leading directors of classical work, Rupert, Ivo and Deborah will explore why these texts remain central to the ongoing practise of theatre-makers, audiences and the wider theatrical ecology.

When Thu 2 Jul 5.45pm
Where Islington Square, 116 Upper Street
Tickets £7 (£5 concession)
“Justice is incidental to law and order.” – J. Edgar Hoover
Is it ever acceptable to kill? Do the ends ever justify the means? Inspired by our production of Oresteia, this Almeida Questions panel explores the challenges of making moral decisions. Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke will be joined by A. C. Grayling (The God Argument) and Dr Jennifer Wallace, English Lecturer, University of Cambridge.

When Thu 20 Aug 6pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concession)
“What if God was one of us?” – Joan Osborne
What if a god were alive and among us now? How would we know? What would it mean and how might we act? This Almeida Questions panel takes a closer look at the Athenian understanding of the divine and its relation to the human, and asks how it has shaped subsequent art, society and religion.

When Thu 15 Oct 6pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
“They f*** you up, your mum and dad.” – Philip Larkin
Which is more inviolable—the love between the makers of children or their love for those children? Can you love too much? Do women and men love differently? Is becoming a parent the beginning or end of bravery? As Rachel Cusk reimagines Medea for our stage, she joins this Almeida Questions panel to examine why Medea is such an incendiary figure and what her story asks of contemporary feminism.

When Thu 22 Oct 6pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
“Tragedy is like strong acid—it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth.” – D. H. Lawrence
We refer to everything from environmental disaster to sporting failure as a tragedy, but what does it really mean when we use this most disputed word? From Aristotle to Wagner, the idea of tragedy with its mighty action, its awesome pity and its cleansing catharsis, has been the pinnacle of artistic endeavour. What does tragedy, in theory and in life, have to say to us now? This panel will be led by Charlotte Higgins, Guardian chief culture writer and author of It’s All Greek to Me.

When Sun 6 Sep 3 – 7pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £15 (£13 concs)
Director Bijan Sheibani (Almeida Theatre, National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse) unpacks the infamous Greek complex. The day will explore where art and psychoanalysis meet, culminating in a reading of the text. Among others, Bijan will be joined by Professor Edith Hall, Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London.

This series of masterclasses is led by artists who are defining our contemporary interpretations of Greek myth. The first masterclass will be led by award-winning classical actor Greg Hicks. Full line-up and dates at


“Call upon loud-roaring and revelling Dionysos.” – Orphic Hymn

When Sun 2 Aug 11am – 5pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets Free (workshop £4)*
We take over Almeida Street for a fun-filled day of Greek-inspired family activities, including storytelling workshops, arts and crafts, food and more. A specialist in creating immersive spectacles, festival favourite Gideon Reeling (Bestival, Camp Bestival) will lead us in the Sillympiad, an Olympic Games unlike any other. *Storytelling workshops take place at 11am & 3pm.
Under 16s should be accompanied by an adult (maximum of two children per adult).

When Sun 2 Aug 6.30pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £5
From Achilles to the elbow and everything in between, see how your Greek trivia stacks up. Hosted by Perrier-nominated comedian, classicist, writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes (BBC Radio 4) and author ofThe Ancient Guide to Modern Life and The Amber Fury.

When Fri 7 & Sat 8 Aug 10.30pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £15 (£13 concs)
Written & directed by Deborah Coughlin
Critically-acclaimed, all-female, multi-talented Gaggle were named as one of NME’s Future 50 most innovative groups and have gone on to create boundary-breaking works across Europe’s festivals, on radio, in galleries and online. Now they return to London with a timely retelling of Lysistrata, the classic comedy about a gang of vigilante women set against a backdrop of post-election despair. Join Gaggle and special guests as they set about trying to figure out how we can change the world.

When Sun 9 Aug 2pm & 6pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
This selection of new short plays is inspired by the Greeks and written, performed, directed and produced by Young Friends of the Almeida. Labyrinth is the culmination of a unique series of workshops that develop young artists, supported by Almeida creatives and producers committed to promoting young talent in London.

When Fri 7 & Sat 8, Sat 15, Fri 21 & Sat 22, Fri 28 & Sat 29 Aug 10pm – late
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets Free
Soak up the post-show atmosphere in the bar as a selection of DJs play us into the night. Headlining is Rebecca Lucy Taylor from Slow Club with more guest DJs to be announced. Cocktails served until midnight.

When Fri 28 Aug 1.30pm & 3.30pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
Young Friends of the Almeida perform a new abridged version of Sophocles’ iconic play on the Almeida stage, developed during two weeks of intensive rehearsals with a professional director and workshops with visiting drama specialists.

When Fri 11 Sept 10.30pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £15 (£13 concs)
Award-winning drag fabulist and lip-synch maestro Dickie Beau has made his name channelling the voices of others. From a lecture by Peter Sellars to creating LOST in TRANS based on Narcissus and Echo and the responses to that show, Dickie discovered a profound link between his own artistic investigations and the origins of theatre. In this never-before-seen performance ‘lecture’, Dickie shares the story of why he became inspired by the Greek canon and how lip-syncing became his Greek mask.

When Sun 13 Sep 4 – 8pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £25 (£20 concs)
In the spirit of Dionysos, Bakkhai composer Orlando Gough and members of the Bakkhai chorus take over the building for an eclectic day of musical Dionysia. Rising star of Greek folk music Rebetiko, Çiğdem Aslan leads the line-up with wine and feasting to complete the full festival feel.

When Sun 4 Oct 7.30pm
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £30 (£27 concs)
Throughout history the story of Medea has fascinated composers, never more so than in France in the 17th and 18th centuries. The acclaimed, Olivier-Award nominated Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn are joined by mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick with exerts from Bernier ‘Médée’ and  Charpentier’s magnificent opera of the same name. Join the EOC ensemble of strings, lute and harpsichord on our operatic journey through the French Baroque, taking on this most dangerous of divas.

“Comedy too can sometimes discern what is right. I shall not please, but I shall say what is true.” – Aristophanes

When Fri 21 Aug 5.30pm & Sat 22 Aug 10.30am
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)
Award-winning director Blanche McIntyre directs a reading of Frogs by the great comic dramatist Aristophanes.

When Fri 18 Sept 5.30pm & Sat 19 Sept 10.30am
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets £7 (£5 concs)Director and Guardian journalist Fiona Laird premieres her adaption of Aristophanes’Wasps.

When Fri 16 Oct 5.30pm & Sat 17 Oct 10.30am
Where Almeida Theatre
Tickets All tickets £7 (£5 concs)
Ramin Gray (ATC Theatre, RSC, Hampstead Theatre) directs a new version of Lysistrata by Richard Bean. In association with Actors’ Touring Company.



a new version created by Robert Icke

until 18 July 2015
Press Night 5 June, 7pm

Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke reimagines Oresteia for the modern stage, in its first major London production in more than a decade.

Lia Williams returns to the Almeida as Klytemnestra. The cast also includes Lorna Brown, Jessica Brown Findlay, Rudi Dharmalingam, Annie Firbank, Joshua Higgott, John Mackay, Luke Thompson, Angus Wright, Hara Yannas, Amelia Baldock, Eve Benioff Salama, Clara Read, Ilan Galkoff, Cameron Laneand Bobby Smalldridge.

Orestes’ parents are at war. A family drama spanning several decades, a huge, moving, bloody saga, Aeschylus’ greatest and final play asks whether justice can ever be done – and continues to resonate more than two millennia after it was written.

Design is by Hildegard Bechtler with light by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons and video by Tim Reid. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG.

Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke most recently directed The Fever at The May Fair Hotel and Mr Burns at the AlmeidaOther Almeida credits include 1984, a co-production with Headlong and Nottingham Playhouse co-created with Duncan Macmillan, which enjoyed a successful West End run and two UK tours. Robert was previously Associate Director at Headlong where he worked with Rupert Goold to conceive and develop Decade, directed Boys by Ella Hickson and a UK tour of Romeo and Juliet.


a new version by Anne Carson
directed by James Macdonald

23 July – 19 September 2015
Press Night 30 July, 7pm

James Macdonald returns to the Almeida to stage Anne Carson’s new version of Euripides’ hedonistic, visceral tragedy. Ben Whishaw makes his Almeida debut as Dionysos alongside Bertie Carvel as Pentheus and Kevin Harvey as Kadmos. Using three actors and a chorus, this new production will echo the original Ancient Greek performance model.

Pentheus has banned the wild, ritualistic worship of the god Dionysos. A stranger arrives to persuade him to change his mind.  Euripides’ electrifying tragedy is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and the irrational, man and god.

The Bakkhai includes Amiera Darwish, Eugenia Georgieva, Kaisa Hammarlund, Helen Hobson, Hazel Holder, Melanie La Barrie, Elinor Lawless, Catherine May, Louise Mills and Belinda Sykes.

Design is by Antony McDonald, with light by Peter Mumford, sound by Paul Arditti, composition byOrlando Gough and musical direction by Lindy Tennent-Brown. Choreography is by Jonathan Burrowsand Gillie Kleiman. Casting is by Anne McNulty CDG.

Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, translator, playwright – and classicist who frequently references, modernises – and translates Greek mythology. Anne’s translation of Sophocles’ Antigone, starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Ivo van Hove, played at the Barbican earlier this year having premiered at Théâtre National du Luxembourg.  Anne is a MacArthur Fellow; she has received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Pushcart Prize, and was an Anna-Maria Kellen fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007.

James Macdonald’s work at the Almeida includes The Triumph of Love, Judgement Day and A Delicate Balance. He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007 premiering works by Sarah Kane, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp.  More recently at the Royal Court he has directed The Wolf From the Door,Cock and Love and Information.  His other credits include Roots (Donmar Warehouse), #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei, And No More Shall We Part (Hampstead Theatre), King Lear, The Book of Grace, Top Girls(Broadway), Dido, Queen of Carthage, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, Exiles (National Theatre),Dying City (Lincoln Center), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You (Public Theater) and Glengarry Glen Ross(West End).


a new version by Rachel Cusk
directed by Rupert Goold

25 September – 14 November 2015
Press Night 1 October, 7pm

One of world drama’s most infamous characters is brought to controversial new life in this production by Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold and feminist writer Rachel Cusk. Kate Fleetwood makes her Almeida debut in the title role.

Medea’s marriage is breaking up. And so is everything else. Testing the limits of revenge and liberty, Euripides’ seminal play cuts to the heart of gender politics and asks what it means to be a woman and a wife.

Design is by Ian McNeil, costume by Holly Waddington, composition and sound by Adam Cork and choreography by Scott Ambler. Casting is by Julia Horan CDG.

Rachel Cusk was selected by Granta as one of their Best Young British Novelists in 2003. Author of seven novels and three works of non-fiction, she won the Whitbread First Novel Award for Saving Agnes, a Somerset Maugham Award for The Country Life, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Arlington Park. Her latest novel, Outline, was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and the Goldsmiths Prize.



29 May – 18 July 2015
a new version created by Robert Icke
Press Night 5 June, 7pm

23 July – 19 September 2015
a new version by Anne Carson
directed by James Macdonald
Press Night 30 July, 7pm

25 September – 14 November 2015
a new version by Rachel Cusk
directed by Rupert Goold
Press Night 1 October, 7pm

Address           Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Café Bar           The Almeida Café Bar is open from 11.30am -11.00pm, Monday to Saturday
The Almeida Cafe Bar will be open later for Almeida Lates

Box Office       Phone 020 7359 4404 (10am – 7.30pm Monday – Saturday)
                         In person 10am – 7.30pm, Monday – Saturday

                         Oresteia performances Monday – Saturday at 7pm
Saturday matinees at 1pm from 13 June
Wednesday matinees at 1pm on 24 June & 8 July

                         Bakkhai performances Monday – Saturday at 8pm
Saturday matinees at 3pm from 1 August
Wednesday matinees at 3pm on 5, 12, 19 & 26 August, 2 & 9 September

                         Medea performances Monday – Saturday at 8pm
Saturday matinees at 3pm from 3 October
Wednesday matinees at 3pm on 14, 21 & 28 October, 4 November


Twitter            @AlmeidaTheatre


Instagram       @almeida_theatre

Access           Oresteia Audio Described performance by VocalEyes Saturday 27 June at 1pm, Touch Tour 11.15am and Friday 10 July at 7pm, Touch Tour 5.30pm.

                        Oresteia Captioned performances Friday 3 July at 7pm

                        Bakkhai Audio Described performance by VocalEyes Saturday 5 September at 3pm, Touch Tour 1.15pm and Friday 11 September at 8pm, Touch Tour 6.15pm.

                        Bakkhai Captioned performances Friday 4 September at 8pm

                        Medea Audio Described performance by VocalEyes Saturday 24 October at 3pm, Touch Tour 1.15pm and Monday 2 November at 8pm, Touch Tour 6.30pm.

                        Medea Captioned performances Monday 26 October at 8pm

For information about festival access please contact the Box Office on 020 7359 4404 or go

Talkback         Post-show discussion with members of the company
Free to same day ticket holders
                        Oresteia Wednesday 1 July
                        Bakkhai Tuesday 18 August
                        Medea Monday 26 October