Harry Potter actor Mark Williams is to narrate the role of Beowulf in a brand-new musical re-telling of the timeless fantasy saga for four performances in October.
The film and TV star, best known as Mr Weasley in the Harry Potter movies and for 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 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, 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, said: "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."
Beowulf features original music by Toby Young, who has worked with Duran Duran and The Rolling Stones, a script by Danny Coleman-Cooke, a writer for Have I Got News For You, and is produced by Armonico Consort.
The show brings together harpist Catrin Finch, 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, which is generously supported by Phillips 66 and JET: each concert features a 150-strong children’s choir formed from local schools as part of its choir creation scheme and after-school choirs.
The 60-minute piece will premiere at Telford's Oakengates Theatre on Tuesday, October 10 before going on to Bushell Hall, in Solihull on October 11, Worcester Cathedral on October 12 and Coventry's Albany Theatre on October 13.
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.armonico.org.uk/whats-on/beowulf/