\ ILIAD

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iliad [compressed]

iliad [compressed]

With the slightly refreshed perspective provided by a few months of hindsight, I have finally had a little time to start sorting through some of the documentation gathered during our epic ILIAD project – our durational verbatim performance of Christopher Logue’s poetic text War Music, and mine and Mike Pearson’s third large-scale collaboration with National Theatre Wales.

Specifically, over the past couple of weeks, I have been exploring the fixed camera ‘surveillance’ footage recorded during our first ever all-day marathon performance of the full four-part work. This footage recorded multiple single-shot wide-angle views onto the room of ILIAD, as it was performed on the day of Saturday 26th September 2015 – monitoring the hundreds of people, white plastic garden chairs, used car tyres, assorted pieces of timber and rope, and hours of performed and projected material, that shaped the room that day.

To begin to fix some manageably compressed visual trace of that place, cycling through the relentless views provided by those four cameras, I have compiled a complete x20 speed time-laspe record of the physical movements and spatial developments of the work across the full duration of that day-long event.

A playful and voiceless reminder of the physical journey, for all those who were there…

A very partial but hopefully engaging taster for those who were not…

 

 

ILIAD – Ffwrnes, Llanelli, 26th September 2015

 

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in the beginning…

in the beginning…

Today sees the public launch of ILIAD – our new large-scale collaboration with National Theatre Wales. The project is our third work for NTW, since the company’s inauguration. It continues our attempts to reactivate classic and historic narrative texts in contemporary Wales, as reflective or resonant situations in the present. And will hopefully push forward some of the propositions we initiated across both The Persian, which we located within the landscape of a Ministry of Defence training range in the Brecon Beacons for NTW’s inaugural season of 2010, and our most recent collaboration Coriolan/us, commissioned and realised in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and London 2012.

Over the coming months Mike Pearson and I will be shaping our ILIAD. It’s a project that will be defined by our durational attempts to stage Christopher Logue’s epic poem War Music – a striking poetic reimagining, that he worked on for over forty years, of the main events in Homer’s account of the last years of the Trojan War.

Logue’s text unfolds across five separate books, which he published between 1981 and 2005. And we plan to perform it verbatim and in its entirety. Initially as a series of separate and consecutive episodes, then followed by two extraordinary omnibus performances of the entire work – the first all day, and the second overnight.

We have never worked directly with the text of a poem in this way before. And importantly, this poem has never before been staged in its entirety. But we will, inevitably, find out exactly what sort of event and work this massive task enables and adds up to.

To begin, here is a copy of the first short video ‘taster’ we made to send out earlier this morning. It combines footage shot on the coast next to Llanelli, where we will perform the work, with a couple of lines from Logue’s own preamble for his text, that we have drawn out as a working subtitle for the project as whole…