The Iris Project

The Iris Festival

The Iris Festival is an annual three-day festival of Classics run by educational charity The Iris Project. It includes plays and performances of Greek drama by London state schools, as well as a variety of Classics-based activities, workshops and talks. It is free to schools and other members of the public, and aims to make Classics and ancient theatre accessible to a wide audience.

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It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1121868)




  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



The festival is an opportunity for children of all ages in 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. Six schools each year are involved in the actual performances in total with different schools performing on different days. Over one hundred pupils from London state schools get to act on stage. The festival is 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 are brought out both in the plays and in the workshops through discussion and role play. The activities run between the plays by Iris volunteers are designed to introduce these ideas and themes to the audiences, as well as to provide an opportunity to learn more about Classics and Classical drama. There are also sessions on mosaic and mask making for audience members. A detailed breakdown of expenses is available on request. A summary is provided below: Workshop Expenses Outreach work (120 hours) £3,600 Volunteer Travel Expenses £350 Total £3,950 Festival Expenses Set, costumes, labour, lighting rental transport (coaches for schools) £7,070 TOTAL £11,020