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Actor Mark Williams retells mythical role in new production
Harry Potter actor Mark Williams is to narrate the role of Beowulf in a brand new musical re-telling of the timeless fantasy saga during a forthcoming mini tour during October. The film and television star, who is best known for his role as Mr Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, as well as his appearances in the TV series Father Brown and The Fast Show, will join singers, soloists and a children's choir live on stage for the new adaptation. Beowulf, which is funded by Arts Council England, features original music by Toby Young, who has worked with Duran Duran and The Rolling Stones, and a script by Danny Coleman-Cooke, writer for BBC TV comedy series Have I Got News For You.
Harry Potter actor Mark Williams to narrate Beowulf. Credit Kenny McCracken
Beowulf, which is produced by Armonico Consort, brings together harpist Catrin Finch - the former harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales - soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and Toby Young on keyboards with Armonico Consort's top professional singers. The project also involves Armonico Consort's education programme AC Academy. Each concert features a 150-strong children's choir formed from local schools as part of AC Academy's choir creation scheme and after-school choirs. The 60-minute piece will be premiered at Telford's Oakengates Theatre on Tuesday 10 October before going on to Bushell Hall, Solihull, on October 11, Worcester Cathedral (October 12) and, finally, Coventry's Albany Theatre on October 13.
Mark Williams filming an episode of Father Brown. By Adrian Beney - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48102405
Beowulf is the oldest epic poem in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons. The enchanting tale of heroes, warriors and magical beasts has been set to music by Armonico Consort's composer-in-residence, Toby Young. Mark Williams will narrate the story as Beowulf recounts his life story, looking back over his monster-slaying career, and preparing for one last battle. With its strong folk-pop influences, libretto by JR Thorp, and script by Danny Coleman-Cooke, Beowulf is designed to entertain the whole family. Christopher Monks, Artistic Director of Armonico Consort, says: "When I first heard the music Toby Young has been writing for Beowulf I was delighted; it captures all the excitement and drama of this epic story, and the tender moments too. This is such a unique and special project for Armonico Consort, giving our children's choirs the opportunity to perform this fabulous new piece together with our own professional singers and star soloists and with such a wonderful celebrity narrator as Mark Williams as Beowulf."
Worcester Cathedral. By Edward Swift - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51252883
Armonico Consort is a critically acclaimed choir and instrumental ensemble which entertains audiences across the country with concerts, recordings and innovative projects. Central to Armonico Consort is its education programme AC Academy, which reaches 15,000 children a year across the UK through its in-school Choir Creation Scheme and after school AC Academy Choirs in partnership with music hubs nationwide and in collaboration with venues such as the Royal Albert Hall. By 2020, Armonico Consort aims to create 300 children's choirs and 300 choir leaders leaving a singing legacy across the country.