Tickets are now available for Now The Hero which comes to Swansea 25-29 September for 5 nights of epic theatre.
The performance takes the audience on an extraordinary journey from the stunning open expanse of Swansea beach to the intimate surroundings of the city’s Brangwyn Hall.
Swansea-born artist Marc Rees has created a site-specific project which is a major part of the final season of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and it also opens this year’s Swansea International Festival.
Through dance, art, prose and performance, this powerful memorial weaves three stories of war: the Celtic Warrior, a World War I soldier and a recently serving Swansea soldier, Captain David Williams. Beginning on Swansea Bay, near to the 360 Beach & Water Sports Centre, audiences will be guided by the show’s protagonist, The Peace Protester, who provides an alternative perspective to the contemporary soldier’s tale.
Central to Now The Hero is a beautiful requiem composed by Owen Morgan Roberts – realised from an original collaboration with the late, Oscar-nominated Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything, Arrival). The libretto written by Bafta Cymru winner and Swansea University’s Professor of Creativity, Owen Sheers, will be sung by Stephen Layton’s world-famous and Grammy-nominated choir, Polyphony.
Expect to experience scenes and reflections of war from past and present, in a performance inspired by the epic poem (Y Gododdin) and the famous Brangwyn panels, alongside meditations of peace, through a military storming, a raucous wedding party, a protest dance and an ancient wake.
Alongside an outstanding cast of performers, Marc Rees is inviting members of the local community to take part in the poetry recital, a protest dance and an ancient wake.
‘Over the past number of years, I’ve discovered time and again that works of culture and creativity can open up not just buildings that have been closed for years but also communities. And NYA/ NTH is no exception , as well as collaborating with internationally renowned artists we have fantastic home grown talent that are creating work in response to the main themes of NYA/ NTH that will be shown as part of our mini city wide festival ( leading up to and over the performance period ) called NOW FOR MORE.’ Marc Rees
‘I can think of no better way to mark the final year of 14-18 NOW than to create a defining Welsh production, in poignant commemoration that puts Swansea on the map..’ Marc added.
Peace Protester, played by Eddie Ladd, leads the ensemble of 100 women to perform verses from Y Gododdin, the ancient Welsh poem about war. Local women are invited to join the a mass all female Cyd Adrodd (Group recitation) and learn verses from the ancient poem in a series of drop in sessions.
Places are still available to join the group by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also great opportunities for anyone to participate through being part of a raucous wedding party along with members of Swansea Little Theatre or lending your green fingers to the GRAFT growing project which is based at National Waterfront Museum.
The project is set to transform the city. 5 evening performances; 25 – 29 September, are accompanied by a host of activities in an exciting ‘art weekender’, Now For More, beginning on Saturday 21 September, which features a free programme of special events, exhibitions, talks and family activities in Swansea’s cultural venues, large and small.
To find out more about Now the Hero and Now for More, visit www.nowthehero.wales
Nawr Yr Arwr/Now The Hero is commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, with support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and from the Department for Culture Media and Sport. It has been produced by Taliesin Arts Centre/Swansea University in partnership with the City & County of Swansea and Swansea International Festival and with the generous support of Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government, the City & County of Swansea and the Colwinston Charitable Trust.