Popularity for epic drama from the Greeks continued unabated despite their modern-day financial woes.
The National Theatre of Wales is set to stage a spectacular production this autumn of Christopher Logue’s filmic poem War Music, derived from Homer’s account in the Iliad of the last years of the Trojan War.
The production will be four parts, performed individually on weeknights, and in two compelling marathon performances – one all day, and one overnight.
Renowned theatre-makers Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes, celebrated for their recent, large-scale interpretations of Aeschylus’ The Persians and Shakespeare’s and Brecht’s Coriolan/us with NTW, will bring their trademark vision to this multimedia staging of War Music.
The audience will be cast into a world both ancient and modern, a world created by a group of eminent Welsh actors, a troupe of teenage gods, a stage shaped around them, and vast cinematic landscapes.
Each of the four parts can be viewed individually, while bolder audience members can choose to see all four in one of two marathon performances – either all day or overnight.
The cast will include six narrators (Claire Cage, Daniel Hawksford, Guy Lewis, Richard Lynch, Melanie Walters and Llion Williams), four constructors who will reshape the set throughout the performances, and 10 local teenagers as the gods.
Mike Brookes is an award-winning artist, director and designer. He co-founded the performance collective Pearson/Brookes with Mike Pearson in 1997.
Christopher Logue was a poet, screenwriter, actor and playwright. In the ’60s he wrote plays for the Royal Court, scripts for Ken Russell, including Savage Messiah and songs for Peter Cook’s Establishment Club.
He acted in several films, including Russell’s The Devils and went to prison again in 1961 with Bertrand Russell and others for his support of CND.
His retelling of the Iliad, begun in 1959 and published in several volumes which came to be known collectively as War Music, is his best-known work. War Music remained incomplete at his death, in 2011.
Iliad, a theatrical staging of Christopher Logue’s War Music, will play at The Ffwrnes, Park Street, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire from September 21-October 3.