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Londinium Festival

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews, reviews and interviews.
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Enjoy a revival of London's rich Roman heritage
Londinium Gladiator Games


Londinium celebrates the city's ancient Roman heritage with a three-month programme of archaeology tours, talks, gladiator games, outdoor films and free events.

Swords And Sandals: Outdoor Cinema Season runs from 7-15 August with screenings of Monty Python's Life of Brian, Pompeii, Roman Holiday, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carry on Cleo and Gladiator. Italian street food, beer and cocktails will be on sale. Tickets cost 10 for adults, 8 concessions.

Family Fun Days include The Big Dig on 8 August, with the chance to take part in an archaeological dig, helping to excavate the trenches in Guildhall Yard, supervised by a team of experts from the Museum of London. Spaces for these free events are limited, and it's first-come first-served for the 45-minute sessions, starting at 12 noon.

The MOLA Time Truck houses a pop-up exhibition, Making the Mithraeum, which tells the story of the Temple of Mithras. The ruins of the temple were first discovered in Walbrook Street in the City of London in 1954. The Mithraeum is being reconstructed in an underground exhibition space, beneath Bloomberg's new European headquarters, and is due to open to the public in October.

The Gladiator Games take place in Guildhall Yard, the site of London's original amphitheatre, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Gladiators armed with shields and spears take part in staged battles in the arena. Tickets for the one-hour shows are priced from 13-22 and need to be booked in advance.

A festival running alongside the gladiator shows gives visitors the opportunity to handle authentic Roman artefacts, try Roman arts and crafts, and learn more about life in Roman London.

The programme of events and activities runs until 29 October.


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Why? Londinium Roman festival
When: 28 July - 29 October 2017
Where: Various locations
Cost: Some events free, others priced 8 upwards
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