Hermes sandals in neon and left on the South Wall facing into Dublin portHermes runners in neon and left on Capel Street in Dublin

Programme of Events

Friday 27th January

photos of Andrew Synott along with Rory Musgrave (by Frances Marshall)

Opening Night Event

Eurydice and Orpheus: performance exploring the many facets of the myth of Orpheus in music and poetry, with baritone Rory Musgrave, actor Tara Lynne O’Neil, and musician Andrew Synnott on piano. Music by Monteverdi, Glück, Saint-Saëns, Nick Cave, with excerpts from texts by Ovid, Rilke, Yannis Ritsos, Theo Dorgan, Enda Wyley and others. Directed by Conor Hanratty. In partnership with Poetry Ireland.

Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, 7 pm.
Booking: Mon Jan 9th,

Event details and booking →
Ovid's Metamorphoses translated by Stephanie McCarter who is interviewed by Helen Morales

In Conversation: Helen Morales, author of Antigone Rising: the Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths and Professor of Hellenic Studies at the University of California, talks to Classics scholar Stephanie McCarter, author of a newly published, ‘unapologetically feminist’ translation from Latin of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Online Event, from 6pm. 

Event details and booking →

Saturday 28th January

UCD Museum of Classical Antiquity

Classical Museum, UCD: Museum tour for the public with curator Dr Joanna Day, and drawing workshop with artist Genevieve Harden.

Ticketed, booking required. 

Tour: 11-11.45am; workshop: 12 noon-1.30 pm. 

Event details and booking →
staging greek tragedy

Staging Greek Tragedy: insights into performing and interpreting ancient tragedy for audiences today.  With theatre artists Eileen Walsh and Derbhle Crotty, who have played roles including Medea, Clytemnestra and Hecuba, and acclaimed British director of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, Erica Whyman. Discussion and Q&A chaired by dramaturg Dr Tanya Dean. In partnership with the Abbey Theatre, on Peacock stage, 3 pm. Tickets on sale now from the Abbey. 

Event details and booking →
natale haynes and stone blind appearing in dublin

An evening with Natalie Haynes: live event with the award-winning author, broadcaster and Classicist, with a focus on her new novel, Stone Blind, a dazzling reinterpretation of the myth of Medusa. Abbey Theatre, on Peacock stage. 

6 pm.
Sold Out. 

Event details →

Sunday 29th January

greek black pottery shwoing nausicaa and odysseus

The Odyssey 

Nostos: Return to Ithaca: Gavin Kostick’s new version of the Odyssey. Excerpts from this work-in-progress performed with new piano score by composer Andrew Synnott, with dancer Megan Kennedy (Junk Ensemble) and playwright Gavin Kostick.

In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Sundays at Noon series. 12 noon – 1 pm. Admission free; ticketed. Booking from Hugh Lane, opens January 23rd

Event details and booking →
Laura Beatty and John Banville, photo by Douglas Banville

Of Gods and Men: John Banville discusses his latest book, The Singularities, whose narrator is the god Hermes, with novelist Laura Beatty, author of Looking for Theophrastus, in which she travels to Lesbos, tracing the life and influence of the ancient Greek natural philosopher, Theophrastus. An ‘In Conversation’ event, chaired by broadcaster and playwright Vincent Woods. 

National Concert Hall Studio, 3.30 pm. Booking open now, NCH.

Event details and booking →
Still from Jean Cocteau's Orphée

Orpheus on film: Screening of Orphée, Jean Cocteau’s beautiful, enigmatic version of the Orpheus myth, set in Paris in 1950. Introduced by Director of Literature Ireland, Sinéad Mac Aodh.

Irish Film Institute, 6.15 pm. Booking now from IFI.

Event details and booking →
Mary Beard and Shadi Bartsch

In Conversation: Shadi Bartsch has published a translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, among many other works on Classics. She is Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago. Her latest book, Plato Goes To China, is just published. She will discuss interpretations of Plato and Aristotle in China today and competing versions of antiquity with renowned Classics scholar and broadcaster, Professor Mary Beard.

Online event, from 8pm. 

Event details and booking →

Schools Programme

Book clubs for Classical Studies 5th and 6th-year students, who will read and discuss Stone Blind: Medusa’s Story by Natalie Haynes and prepare some questions for her. 

Venue partners

Dublin City Gallery: the Hugh Lane 
National Concert Hall
The Abbey Theatre 
Irish Film Institute

Academic partners

Trinity College Dublin Classics
Maynooth University Classics
University College Dublin Classics
Classical Association of Ireland – Teachers
Classical Association of Ireland 

Cultural partners

Poetry Ireland
Irish Film Institute
National Concert Hall
The Abbey Theatre
Dublin City Gallery: the Hugh Lane

About Classics Now

ClassicsNow festival invites audiences to discover and engage with the arts and ideas of ancient Greece, Rome and the wider ancient world, as interpreted by leading contemporary writers, artists and thinkers, both international and Irish.

ClassicsNow is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. It is supported by three leading universities' Classics departments: University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and Maynooth University, plus the Classical Association of Ireland.
International participants so far have been: Andrea Marcolongo, Daniel Mendelsohn, Madeline Miller, Charlotte Higgins, Natalie Haynes, Mary Norris, Daisy Dunn, hip-hop artist, Akala, and film director Sophie Deraspe. 

Irish artists from the first two festivals include Sebastian Barry, Carlo Gébler, Conall Morrison, Junk Ensemble dance company, Alice Maher, Denis Clohessy, Gavin Kostick, Andrew Synnott, Janet Moran, Theatre Lovett, Conall Morrison, Marina Carr, Nick Roth, Caitríona McLaughlin, Colin Murphy, Conor Hanratty, Once Off Productions.

Here is the programme information for the first two festivals, held in November 2020 and in January 2022: Due to Covid, the inaugural festival was virtual; 2022’s programme was a hybrid of online and live events in Dublin.

All recordings of online events are still available to watch, free of charge, on and the Classics Now YouTube channel.

Twitter/ Instagram @ClassicsNowFest

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandInstituto Italiano di Cultura DublinoThe 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 Dublino

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