J. Productions, Milan in association with Cinema la Compagnia, Teatro della Pergola, the British Institute of Florence & The Florentine presents

Speaking Dante


24 hours. 100 cantos. Live in Florence. Streamed across the world.



Tickets are available from the Cinema la Compagnia box office, or online: https://www.cinemalacompagnia.it/evento/speaking-dante-24-ore-di-letture-della-divina-commedia/

The LIVE STREAM is free of charge for 24 hours during the live event. On sale to view thereafter for Euro 8.00 until 24th Septembe 2021: mymovies.it/ondemand/piucompagnia/

A once-in-a-lifetime live reading of The Divine Comedy marking the Dante 700 anniversary


13th-14th September 2021, Cinema la Compagnia, Florence, Italy and online


Ralph Fiennes, Helen Mirren, Adjoa Andoh, Jessie Buckley, Dominic West, Stephen Dillane, Rupert Everett, Ian McDiarmid, Tim McInnerny and John Nettles contribute exclusive filmed readings interspersed with a diverse international live cast to read The Divine Comedy, to mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death and raise funds for Italian refugee charity Community of SantEgidio


For the first time ever, in celebration of Dante’s astonishing legacy and his poem’s enduring power and fascination, Milan theatre producer Julia Holden, in collaboration with award-winning UK playwright Justin Butcher, is curating a 24-hour marathon live reading in Florence of the whole of The Divine Comedy, in the acclaimed English translation by Robert & Jean Hollander, with a live audience & live-streamed across the world.


Speaking Dante is created by a team of top UK and international theatre professionals. Video designs by acclaimed artist Damian Hale drawing on the illustrations of William Blake, Gustave Doré and Gabriele dell’Otto, combine with music and sound by award-winning designer Sebastian Frost to conjure a richly textured, haunting immersive experience on stage and on screen.     


Live on stage in Florence will be Janice Acquah, Eleanor Butcher, Justin Butcher, Mary Chater, Clara Francesca, Andrew Harrison, Rupert Mason, Jan Noble, Amaka Okafor and Kenneth Omole.


Filmed contributions from Adjoa Andoh, Jessie Buckley, Janie Dee, Stephen Dillane, Rupert Everett, Ralph Fiennes, Kate Fleetwood, Janet Henfrey, Ian McDiarmid, Guy Masterson-Mastroianni, Tim McInnery, Helen Mirren, John Nettles, Dominic West and Brigid Zengeni.


Speaking Dante will be hosted and live-streamed by the Cinema la Compagnia in Florence, in partnership with the Teatro della Pergola, the British Institute of Florence and The Florentine magazine, from 19:00 on Monday 13th September – 19:00 on Tuesday 14th September.

Speaking Dante’s charity partner is the Community of SantEgidio, whose pioneering work supporting refugees and migrants in Italy includes the Schools of Language & Culture, the Humanitarian Corridors Project, the Genti di Pace (People of Peace) project and their work with the Roma People. Speaking Dante will raise funds for the Schools of Language & Culture, Community of Sant’Egidio, Florence – a vital, creative and empowering project enabling refugees and migrants to learn the Italian language and engage with Italian culture, an inspiring and transformational environment described as a workshop of the culture of co-existence.


  1. Productions, Milan and our producing partners acknowledge most gratefully the generous support of award-winning IP law firm Trevisan & Cuonzo, Milan, Parma, Rome & Bari. We are delighted also to acknowledge gratefully the support of the Karma Group international chain of boutique luxury hotels, who recently added to their magnificent array of 5-star destinations across the globe the exquisite Karma Borgo di Colleoli in the heart of Tuscany.


Cinema la Compagnia, Via Camillo Cavour 50/R, 50121 Florence FI, Italy


Telephone +39 055 268451 / https://www.cinemalacompagnia.it 


Supported by Trevisan & Cuonzo, Milan, Parma, Rome & Bari www.trevisancuonzo.com/it/index.html 

And Karma Group www.karmagroup.com 

www.jproductions.it www.cinemalacompagnia.it  

www.teatrodellapergola.com www.britishinstitute.it