Productions presents


Speaking Dante


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 …

Arriving into the second circle of Hell, Dante sees the dammed being punished for their sins. Minos, The Judge of the Underworld, stops the two poets and warns them of  what lies ahead.  They see carnal sinners tossed in the dark for eternity by furious winds. Dante wishes to speak to a couple, Francesca and Paolo, who tell their sad tale of love. Overwhelmed by pity, Dante faints.



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 stand 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, Milan theatre producer Julia Holden is curating a season of participative readings from The Divine Comedy throughout 2021, in collaboration with award-winning playwright Justin Butcher and a team of top UK theatre professionals.

To find out more, contact Julia Holden at