Mike Pearson & Brookes whip up epic Storm Cycle for National Theatre Wales

National Theatre Wales’ 2018 season kicks off in February and March with the first two parts of The Storm Cycle, an extraordinary, three-year collaboration with theatre-makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes.

The Storm Cycle is a series of six productions conceived, designed and directed by Pearson and Brookes, creators of some of the company’s most critically-acclaimed work to date (The Persians, Coriolan/us, Iliad).

Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes.

These multimedia works will be performed at different locations across Wales, at a variety of scales and sizes, exploring two key themes; truth and testimony.

They will culminate, in 2020, with the creation of a major, new, large-scale production for NTW’s 10th anniversary programme.

STORM.1: Nothing Remains The Same will be a poetic, cinematic reimagining of the first two books of Roman author Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with a new text narrated by Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Detectorists, Peaky Blinders, Jerusalem) and Mike Pearson.

STORM.2: Things Come Apart will be a multi-platform exploration of the Cardiff riots of June 1919 – as documented by the local press of the time.

In June 1919, Cardiff city centre was the scene of four days and nights of vicious riots that left three dead, many in hospital, and properties wrecked and burnt.

The root causes were a long-standing, complex knot of post-war frustrations following demobilisation – lack of housing, lack of jobs, lack of opportunity.

But the spark that finally ignited the worst of the violence was racial tension; local troublemakers and soldiers clashed with Yemeni, Somali and Caribbean seamen in front of vast crowds of onlookers.

No full narrative of the riots exists. A new text, specially compiled for the production, creates a running account using only the reports in local, period newspapers, as well as the Chief Constable’s assessment. Inevitably partial, they expose the attitudes and prejudices of that era.

This verbatim material will be narrated live by a cast of three professional actors (Ali Goolyad, Aisling Groves-McKeown and John Rowley).

Combining it with period maps, commercial directories and photographs of the city, STORM.2: Things Come Apart will pinpoint key locations in a now completely changed urban landscape.

STORM.1: Nothing Remains The Same will be performed in Pafiliwn Bont, Ceredigion, February 15-17 and STORM.2: Things Come Apart will take place at The Tabernacl Church, The Hayes, Cardiff, from March 21-24.

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