News: Tom Hiddleston, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù and more to read poetry at National Theatre as part of fundraiser for Ukraine

On Friday 17th March 2023, the National Theatre is hosting an evening of poetry readings from Allie Esiri’s best-selling poetry anthologies to raise money for the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC’s) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Allie Esiri will lead an evening of poetry which journeys through the calendar year, reflecting the changing seasons and linking to events on key dates during the year. Poems will be read on the Olivier stage by actors including Tom Hiddleston (Coriolanus), Asa Butterfield (Sex Education), Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (Gangs of London), Kate Fleetwood (King Lear) and Ukranian actor Dária Plahtíy (Battle for Sevastopol) as well as a pre-recorded reading from Helena Bonham Carter. The contributors will be joined by illustrator Chris Riddell who will be live drawing on stage at the event.  

The evening will raise funds for the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC’s) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, with all donations on the evening donated directly to the DEC. DEC charities, and their local partners, are working to meet the immediate needs of all people who have fled their homes with food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care. DEC charities will continue to help people affected by the conflict to rebuild their lives in the months and years to come. 

Allie Esiri’s newest poetry anthology, A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year, is published by Pan Macmillan on 23rd March 2023 however signed copies will also be available to buy in advance at the National Theatre Bookshop at this event. Featuring Emily Faccini’s glorious illustrations, this new book is the definitive collection of nursery rhymes and a companion title to Allie’s best-selling poetry anthologies, which include A Poem for Every Day of the Year. Allie Esiri will be donating profits from the sale of all her poetry collections on the night to the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. 

Allie Esiri said, “Poetry can stop and make us think and feel. About love, loss, hope – and our shared experiences as humans. That is the aim of this Poetry for Every Day of the Year event which I am honoured to host: to reach out in solidarity to the brave people of Ukraine through the beauty of words, brought to life on stage at our beloved National Theatre by an extraordinary cast of actors. My hope is that the evening will be filled with as much laughter as tears, and that you will leave full of hope for the people of this war-torn nation. In return, we ask that you donate as generously as you can to the Ukraine appeal so that, in some small way at least, our words may become actions in the fight against oppression.” 

Tickets are available now for Poetry for Every Day of the Yearon Friday 17th March at 5.45pm at  

Direct donations to the DEC can also be made via the webpage.  

Following the event, a recording will be available to watch on the NT’s YouTube channel from Thursday 6 April at 7pm.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *