London Schools Classics Festival

Here is news of a great initiative by Lorna Robinson.

Iris Festival for London schools
17 – 19th June, 2009
all day at The Scoop, City Hall, More London.

The Iris Festival is a three-day festival of Classics run by The Iris Project (, including plays and performances of Greek drama by London state schools, activities, workshops and talks. It will be free to schools and other members of the public. Details to be confirmed, but a provisional programme is given below for each day of the festival:

12:30pm : Opening remarks – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

1pm – 2pm : A double bill of Greek Comedy (Birds by Aristophanes; Clouds by Aristophanes). Performed by local primary schools.

2:30pm – 4:30pm : activities and workshops (details to be confirmed)

6pm: Pre-performance talk on ancient theatre

6:30pm : A Classical tragedy (Euripides’ Bacchae). Performed by local sixth forms.

Alongside the space around the Scoop will be used for family-orientated activities such as mosaic-making, mask-making, story boarding of myths, and stalls.

Six schools will be involved in total with different schools performing on different days. Over one hundred pupils from London state schools will act on stage. The festival would be a culmination of a year’s work with schools, introducing Greek civilisation and culture in the form of classes and workshops that aim both to teach about Greek culture as well as working into the school’s social curriculum: Greek drama is inextricably linked with themes such as civic and social responsibility. These themes will be brought out both in the plays and in the workshops through discussion and role play.

The festival is an opportunity for children of all ages in inner London state schools to perform in public to a wide audience in an exciting professional venue and a chance for members of the public and schools to enjoy a three-day festival of Classics and Classical drama.

For more details, please get in touch with us. If you would like to help out with the running of the festival or offer financial support, please also get in touch!


Dr Lorna Robinson
Director, The Iris Project
Department of Classics
King’s College London