It is the eve of Good Friday, 1300, and Dante is 35 years old.  He is both author and the Pilgrim at the heart of The Divine Comedy’s journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise where his beloved Beatrice awaits him.

Dante loses his way in a dark frightening forest. Emerging into the light he ascends a mountain where he meets three wild beasts. The ancient Roman poet, Virgil, appears to help him and promises to guide him to the Gates of St. Peter.

A 2021 season of participative readings from The Divine Comedy


in the middle of the journey of our life …


Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita …


700 years on from Dante’s death, his epic narrative poem The Divine Comedy continues to grip the imagination of countless artists, composers, film-makers, writers and academics across the world. Translated into more than one hundred languages, The Divine Comedy stands alongside the Bible and the works of Homer and Shakespeare as one of the ultimate pillars of literary creation in human history.


To celebrate Dante’s astonishing legacy and his poem’s enduring power and fascination, throughout 2021, Julia Holden together with acclaimed playwright Justin Butcher are curating a season of participative readings from The Divine Comedy assisted by a team of top UK theatre professionals.