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National Theatre Wales to Present WAR MUSIC

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 National Theatre Wales, will bring their trademark vision to this multimedia staging of Christopher Logue's filmic poem War Music, derived from Homer's account of the last years of the Trojan War.

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.

Classic Greek, epic storytelling meets box-set theatre.

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. Since 2005, his collaborative art work with Spanish artist Rosa Casado has produced live art and gallery works across a range of media; their work together having been widely commissioned and presented across Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America, and USA. Other collaborators include Quarantine and Untitled Projects. In 2007, he was appointed Research Fellow within Aberystwyth University.

Mike Pearson trained as an archaeologist. He was a member of R.A.T. Theatre (1972-73) and an artistic director of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (1973-80) and Brith Gof (1981-97). He currently makes performance as a solo artist; with Mike Brookes in Pearson/Brookes and for National Theatre Wales. Mike is author of Theatre/Archaeology (2001); In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006); Site-Specific Performance (2010); The Mickery Theater: An Imperfect Archaeology (2011); and Marking Time: Performance, Archaeology and the City (2013). He was Professor of Performance Studies, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University (1999-2014).

Christopher Logue was a poet, screenwriter, actor and playwright. Born in Portsmouth in 1926 he served briefly in the Black Watch during and immediately after the Second World War, before spending sixteen months in a military prison. In 1952 he went to Paris where he worked on Merlin, the magazine which published Beckett. He funded his own poetry by writing pornography under the name Count Palmiro Vicarion. Back in London 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. On his release he began his 'True Stories' column for Private Eye. He was responsible for some of the first poetry posters and was a life-long advocate of performance verse. In 1959 he recorded Red Bird, with the musician and composer Tony Kinsey, a combination of jazz with Logue's versions of poems by Pablo Neruda. 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. He had no Greek and based his work on literal translations, many provided by Donald Carne-Ross, who commissioned the first part of War Music for the Third Programme (Radio Three). He recorded and performed it often, notably with Alan Howard. War Music remained incomplete at his death, in 2011.

Claire Cage has worked in a wide variety of roles in television and radio since leaving Aberystwyth University in 1993. Her television appearances include Waterloo Road, Coronation Street, Doctors, Cara Fi, Wizards Versus Aliens, Wire in the Blood, Mistresses, Torchwood, Sherlock, A Royal Wedding, Tracey Beaker, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Patsy Zimmer in Being Human. She recently filmed the feature film Moon Dogs in the Shetland Isles. Claire appeared as a semi regular on Casualty and Holby City where she played Natalie Fletcher. She worked with Richard Ayoade on his hit indie directorial debut, Submarine, The Sheepish Approach and Lucky Jim with Craig Roberts. She played Sister Edith in the smash short Little Munchkin and went on to play Lottie Jenkins in Elfie Hopkins with Ray and Jamie Winstone, both directed by Ryan Andrews.

Daniel Hawksford was born in Newport and raised in Swansea. Upon graduating from RADA he has worked extensively in theatre, most recently in Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage (National Theatre Wales, Out of Joint, Arcola Theatre with Sherman Cymru) and for the RSC, National Theatre, Globe Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Almeida Theatre, Young Vic, Clwyd Theatre Cymru (where he is an Associate Artist) Orange Tree Theatre and National Theatre Wales. For his performance as Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing for the National Theatre he received an Ian Charleson Nomination.

Guy Lewis' theatre credits include: Twelfth Night (Regent's Park), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Hamlet, Pygmalion, Mary Stuart, The Drawer Boy, Memory, Measure For Measure, Romeo And Juliet and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (Clwyd Theatre Cymru), She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet and Canterbury Tales (Northern Broadsides), It's A Family Affair (Sherman Cymru), An Inspector Calls (Torch Theatre), Telstar (New Ambassadors Theatre), And Then They Came For Me (Lyric Hammersmith), Faustus (National Theatre), One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and The Graduate (Both At The Gielgud Theatre) and Spring Awakening (Bath Theatre Royal). His television credits include: Caerdydd, Torchwood and Casualty. His film credits include: Telstar.

Richard Lynch's theatre credits include: Coriolan/us and The Persians (National Theatre Wales), Afore Night Come (dir: Rufus Norris), Snapshots (dir: Braham Murray), Penny For A Song (Oxford Stage Company), The Storm (Almeida), Gas Station Angel (Royal Court & Tour), The Mysteries (RSC), Macbeth (Theatr Clwyd), Patagonia (Brith Gof/ tour including Royal Court), Kasper (dir. Geoff Moore) Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Moving Being Theatre Company), Flowers Of The Dead Red Sea, The Myth Of Michael Roderick and House Of America (Y Cwmni), and performances In Abigail's Party, Macbeth, The Castle (Barker), Victory (Barker), Malvinas, The Flies (Sartre), The Fall & Redemption Of Man, Godspell, Romeo & Juliet and Penderyn (a rock opera). Television credits include: Fondue, Rhyw A Dinosors and Labour Of Love (ITV Wales), Pobol Y Cwm and Score (BBC Wales), The Mabinogi (Cartwn Cymru Cyf), Iechyd Da (Bracan), Y Glas (Boda Films), The Proposition (dir. Strath Hamilton), A Mind To Kill (BBC), Y Parc (Gaucho Productions), Branwen (S4C), The Healer (BBC), Lifeboat (BBC), Thicker Than Water (BBC), Yr Arwerthwr (Ffilminan Penadur Cyf), Christmas Stallion (Lluniau Lliw Cyf), Rebecca (HTV), Bowen A'i Bartner (BBC), Babylon By-Passed (BBC), District Nurse (BBC), Breaking Rank (BBC), Mwy Na Phapur Newydd (Lluniau Lliw Cyf - Series 1 & 2) and Sticky Wickets (BBC). Film credits include: Millenium, Darklands, Watermarks, and Boy Soldier.

Melanie Walters' theatre credits include: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (UK Productions); Cinderella (Hiss And Boo Productions); Blue Remembered Hills (Theatr Clwyd) and Educating Rita (Swansea Grand). Her television credits Include: Doc Martin; Ishe Hongian (Boom Pictures); Under Milk Wood (BBC); Being Human (Touchpaper Productions); Gavin and Stacey (Baby Cow); Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures); Anually Retentive (Jones The Film); Holby City, Dirty Work, Jack Of Hearts, Back Up, Dangerfield, Tender Loving Care and The Healer (BBC); Gypsy Fires (Channel 4) and Coronation Street (Granada).

Her film credits Include: Burn Burn Burn (Burn Productions Ltd); Caring For The Recently Deceased (Short) (Stick & Rudder Films); Ex Libris (Short) (Long Arm Films); High Tide (Long Arm Films); Another Me (Fox International Productions); Resistance (Big Rich Films); Submarine (Warp Productions); Dirgelwch Yr Ogof (Nant Productions) and Rampage (Peakviewing Films).

Llion Williams is from Dyffryn Conwy originally but now lives near Caernarfon. He is an Associate of Clwyd Theatr Cymru and trained at Coleg Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth. Theatre work includes: Ghosts, A Doll's House, Abigail's Party, The Herbal Bed The Journey of Mary Kelly, A Christmas Carol, Rape of the Fair Country, Gaslight and A Small Family Business (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Porth y Byddar (Clwyd Theatr Cymru/Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), Cariad Mr Bustl/Le Misanthrope, Y Pair/The Crucible, Y Gofalwr/The Caretaker, Iesu, Cysgod y Cryman, Bobi a Sami, Y Storm/The Tempest (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), Y Cylch Sialc/The Chalk Circle, Un o'r Teulu/Relatively Speaking and Y Gelli Geirios/The Cherry Orchard (Theatr Gwynedd), Angitone, The Giant's Embrace and Minamata (Theatr Powys), C'Mon Midffild and Llanast/Carnage (Theatr Bara Caws), A History of Falling Things (New Vic, Stoke) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Scarborough). Television work includes: Hinterland, Outside Time, A Mind to Kill, The Mystery Files, Death or Liberty, C'mon Midffild, Blodeuwedd, Ac Eto Nid Myfi, Ista'nbwl, Lan a Lawr, and Gwaith/Cartref. Radio work includes: Playboy of the Western World/Congrinero'r Gorllewin, Y Ffin and Dyddiadur Dyn D?ad (BBC). Other work includes: Pedr a'r Blaidd/Peter and The Wolf (Ensemble Cymru).

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