The Persians

John Hardy: "Fanfare" (The Persians)

See The Guardian slideshow of The Persians with music by John Hardy

"Site-specific theatre with a vengence." (The Guardian)

Directed by Mike Pearson, this new production of The Persians was staged in an in a military replica village based around "a four-storey house with no front wall and a stunning backdrop of mountains" (The Independent) on a 31,000 acre army range in the Brecon Beacons, normally out of bounds to the public.

Written by Aeschylus about events surrounding the war between the Greeks and Persians, The Persians was first produced in 472BC. The play describes the battle of Salamis from the defeated Persian perspective.

Described by The Telegraph as "great theatre... and a thrilling mystery tour for its audience," this production is part of the inaugural programme by the newly formed National Theatre Wales. The new translation is written by Kaite O'Reilly, with conceptual design by Mike Brookes and design by Simon Banham.

The production run of 12 nights from 11-21 August sold out and in addition to glowing reviews attracted widespread media attention including reports on Channel 4 News, ITV Wales, BBC 1 Wales and BBC Radio 4 Front Row, articles in The Guardian newspaper and website including 'What to see' recommendations and an audio slideshow featuring John Hardy's original music, articles in the Western Mail and on BBC Wales news website and arts blog, and numerous private blog entries.

***** "Extraordinary, one of the most imaginative, powerful and haunting theatrical events of the year... Pearson’s superbly imaginative and intense production, at once timeless and modern, has a rare, raw power. This is great theatre - and a thrilling mystery tour for its audience." 

Charles Spencer, The Telegraph 13/8/10

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**** "The combination of the story and

the setting... is overwhelming. What is impressive... is the totality of the experience.... superb production, with atmospheric music by John Hardy." 

Michael Billington, The Guardian 13/8/10 

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"National Theatre Wales' extraordinary al fresco staging of the world's oldest surviving play" 

Kate Bassett, The Independent 15/8/10 

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**** “This is a theatrical experience like no other… at its end, as we stumble out into the murk, the sound of keening floats uncannily from the empty homes into the cold night air. Unique and unforgettable.” 

Sam Marlowe, The Times, 17/8/10

"John Hardy's music... (is) hauntingly atmospheric.... At its best, the interplay between text and setting liberates new meanings.... Mike Pearson (director) and Mike Brookes (conceptual designer)... have scored a coup"

Clare Brennan, The Observer 15/8/10

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"Both minimalist and massive in its scope and marvellous in its realisation" 

Fiona Phillips, Hereford Times 13/8/10 

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"With the eerie music, some wonderful acting... and the amazing setting.... this is another hit for National Theatre Wales" 

Karen Price, Western Mail 14/8/10 

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"At a key moment John Hardy’s subtle music comprises just a few spare keyboard notes in perfect counterpoint to the dramatic action." 

Adam Somerset, Theatre Wales 27/8/10 

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"Extraordinarily powerful... astonishingly effective... a living, breathing otherworldly experience." 

Ben Bryant, British Theatre Guide 

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For more information, view the programme online.