The Future of the Past

January 2022
Friday 21 – Sunday 23

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Welcome to Classics Now, an exciting new cultural festival online, in Dublin and beyond.

Dive into the art, literature and ideas of the Ancient Greeks and Romans as interpreted and reimagined by outstanding artists today.

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Following the success of our inaugural festival in November 2020, our second weekend will showcase the current burst of exploration and re-engagement with Classics and the ancient world. Artists, writers and thinkers, international and Irish, are taking Classics as a lens to examine our contemporary cultural and political preoccupations and challenges.

Our three-day programme in January will present a series of inviting encounters, including readings and performances, both online and live in public spaces - art galleries and cultural centres - with a number of events aimed at second and third-level students. In interviews, discussions, readings, film screenings and musical theatre performances, you will see and hear from artists who are working in different genres and art forms, in thought-provoking and imaginative ways.

Come and join the new Renaissance.

First Glimpse: some Programme Highlights

The ClassicsNow weekend will feature online and live events with exciting writers and artists using the ancient past as a way to reflect on our world today.

Madeleine MillerMadeleine Miller

Madeline Miller

Award-winning novelist and essayist Madeline Miller will be joining us online to talk about The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Prize for fiction, and Circe, her acclaimed reimagining of Homer’s Odyssey from a compelling perspective. Madeline Miller will be in conversation with author and journalist Anna Carey on Friday January 21st.

Theatre Lovett Aesop's FablesTheatre Lovett Aesop's Fables

A Fox Fest for All The Family

Theatre Lovett invites you to stroll through the crinkly papyrus pages of history, with helpful advice from Aesop’s Fables. Mister Fox rustles up fascinating facts from Ancient Greece and Rollicking Rome. Myths and mystery abound when Fox is around! Live interactive performance in partnership with Dublin City Gallery: the Hugh Lane.

Black pottery achillesBlack pottery achilles

Tell us, Muse, about a man of twists and turns…

Join us to see Gavin Kostick’s dynamic new version of Homer’s Odyssey take shape, in a special work-in-progress presentation performed by Janet Moran, Gavin Kostick and composer Andrew Synnott. Presented in partnership with MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland.

Image ©️The Trustees of the British Museum
Charlotte Higgins (c) David Levene 2017 with Carlo Gébler by Euan GCharlotte Higgins (c) David Levene 2017 with Carlo Gébler by Euan G

Charlotte Higgins and Carlo Gébler

Author and Guardian journalist Charlotte Higgins writes brilliantly on Classics, from Roman Britain to Greek myth. She will be joined by novelist and biographer Carlo Gébler, whose new novel, I, Antigone, is the unforgettable story of Oedipus as written by his daughter, Antigone. Live event at City Assembly House, Dublin, chaired by arts broadcaster, Paula Shields. Saturday January 22nd.

Daisy Dunn Author Pic © Alice Dunn with Vincent WoodsDaisy Dunn Author Pic © Alice Dunn with Vincent Woods

Daisy Dunn in conversation with Vincent Woods

Daisy Dunn, classicist, biographer and art historian, brings the Roman Empire to life thrillingly. Her award-winning books include Catullus’ Bedspread and In the Shadow of Vesuvius, which vividly recreates the eruption of the volcano in AD 79 through the eyes of Pliny. Joining us online from London, she will be in conversation with broadcaster, playwright and poet, Vincent Woods, on Sunday January 23nd.

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Please Note
The 2020 programme was fully online, due to Covid-19 circumstances. All events were streamed and can be watched again, free of charge. Links to the videos and films are on the event pages. Full programme information for January's festival will be available from early January 2022.

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College DublinInstituto Italiano di Cultura DublinoInstituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino

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