Theatre in Wales

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NATIONAL THEATRE WALES’ THREE-YEAR STORM CYCLE TO OPEN IN CEREDIGION National Theatre Wales’ 2018 season will kick-off in February with the first part of The Storm Cycle, an extraordinary, three-year collaboration with theatre-makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, who have created some of National Theatre Wales’ most critically-acclaimed work to date.

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.

In his epic narrative, completed just before his exile in 8AD, Ovid links together “into one artistically harmonious whole, all the stories of classical mythology”. Above all, he tells of extraordinary and miraculous changes and transformations, in the nature of people and of things.

In a theatrically thrilling combination of word, sound and unexpected occurrences, STORM.1: Nothing Remains The Same takes up two of Ovid’s early stories.

In the first part, Chaos & Creation narrated by Mike Pearson, a disordered universe is brought into harmony, and then put at risk through the faults, frailties and violent acts of successive races of humanity. In the second, Ignition & Eclipse narrated by Aimee-Ffion Edwards, the foolhardy Phaëthon insists on driving his father Phoebus’s fiery chariot – the sun – to prove he’s his divine son. But his reckless exploits lead to tragedy…

The Storm Cycle

National Theatre Wales’ The Storm Cycle will include six productions conceived, designed and directed by Pearson & Brookes, who have joined the company as Associate Artists. These six multimedia works will be performed at different locations across Wales 2018-2020, at a variety of scales and sizes, and will explore two key themes; truth and testimony. They will culminate with the creation of a major, new, large-scale production for NTW’s 10th anniversary programme in 2020.

All six productions will build on the approaches and techniques that Pearson & Brookes have brought to their trilogy of groundbreaking NTW productions, The Persians (2010), Coriolan/us (2012) and Iliad (2015), while also drawing on their own histories and experiences as theatre-makers in Wales over the past 40 years.

Drawing on dramatic, literary, mythological, cinematic and artistic sources; historical and contemporary, local and international, fictional and documentary, The Storm Cycle will include original texts, specially-created soundtracks, innovative scenic designs and novel physical activities.

The second part of The Storm Cycle – STORM.2: Things Come Apart – will be a vivid evocation of the Cardiff riots of June 1919, as reported in the local press. It will be performed at the Tabernacl Church, Cardiff city centre, 21-24 March 2018. More information about STORM.2 can be found at

Details on the next installment of The Storm Cycle will be announced later in 2018.

Cast & Creative Team Biographies

Mike Pearson was a member of Transitions (1971-72) and 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 artist Mike Brookes as Pearson/Brookes (1997–present), and with senior performers’ group Good News From The Future. For NTW, he co-directed The Persians (2010), Coriolan/us (2012) and Iliad (2015). He is author of Theatre/Archaeology (2001); In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006); Site-specific Performance (2010); MIckery Theater: an imperfect archaeology (2011); and Marking Time: performance, archaeology and the city (2013). He is Emeritus Professor of Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University.

Mike Brookes is an award-winning artist, director and designer, whose work has always bridged media. He co-founded the performance collective Pearson/Brookes in 1997, focusing on intermedial and located performance work, most recently co-creating a series of acclaimed large-scale works in collaboration with NTW. Over the past decade, his work has centred on the production of context-specific and interventional public art works within his long-term collaboration with artist Rosa Casado; their work together having been widely commissioned and presented across Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America, and the USA.

Aimee-Ffion Edwards (who will narrate a pre-recorded, new text) recently filmed the role of Cassandra in BBC/Netflix epic Troy: Fall Of A City and played the role of Abi in new AMC/C4 comedy Loaded. Last year she played the series regular role of Esme in BBC One's Peaky Blinders and Sophie in Detectorists for Channel 4 before joining the company of The Twits, directed by John Tiffany for the Royal Court Theatre. In 2014, Aimee was named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow following her role in BBC film Queen & Country.

Listings Information

National Theatre Wales present
Part 1 of The Storm Cycle, created by Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes
Music: John Hardy Music
Sound Designer: Mike Beer

Dates & Time: 15-17 February 2018, 8pm
Location: Pafiliwn Bont, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ceredigion

Box Office
By phone: 029 2037 1689
Tickets: £10, £7.50 conc and £5 for preview (15 February)


The second part of National Theatre Wales’ The Storm Cycle will be a multi-platform exploration of the Cardiff riots of June 1919 – as documented by the local press of the time. STORM.2: Things Come Apart will be performed in a Cardiff church, 21-24 March.

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 STORM.2: Things Come Apart, 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.

At a time of global political and social instability, this hard-hitting production will be a reminder of the value of compassion and of hard-won civil rights, and the risks we take when we neglect them.

National Theatre Wales  
web site
Catrin Roberts
Thursday, January 11, 2018back



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