Nawr Yr Arwr Logo (Short / Dark) Nawr Yr Arwr Logo (Short / Pink) Nawr Yr Arwr Logo (Short / Light)
Now The Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr


25-29 | 09 | 2018


Three soldiers land on a smoke-filled Swansea beach

Three warriors from different ages:
WWl \ Celtic \ Contemporary
Together they run towards refuge

As they sprint over the sand a peace protester bellows from a megaphone the opening lines of an ancient poem

The words resonate still
Tonight they will be sung...

Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero is an immersive theatrical experience that will take the audience on an extraordinary journey through three interweaving narratives of war from Celtic times, to the First World War and on to contemporary conflict. 

Drawing upon an epic poem, some rejected paintings, and an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier, Marc Rees’s bold production brings the stories of war to life with a counterpoint of peace and hope.

The production is inspired by the British Empire Panels, an astonishing series of paintings by Frank Brangwyn, which are displayed in Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall.  The panels were commissioned in 1928 by the House of Lords to commemorate WWI, but were rejected as being ‘too colourful and lively’ for the British Parliament. Lord Crawford, vehemently expressed his opinion in the Daily News describing the panels as ‘all tits and bananas!’

As a consequence, several cities bid against each other to take the panels and in 1933, Swansea was selected to receive them for inclusion in the Guildhall, which was under construction at that time. The height of the hall ceiling was elevated considerably in order to accommodate the panels

Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero will be performed in and around Swansea’s Guildhall.

The 'Hero' in the show’s title alludes to the famous 1917 Eisteddfod chair winning poem ‘Yr Arwr’ by Hedd Wyn (Blessed Peace), a pacifist who was born on a farm in Gwynedd and died with half a million others at Passchendaele. Today, the 1917 festival is known as ‘Eisteddfod y Gadair Ddu’ – the Eisteddfod of the Black Chair.

This event is a major part of the final year’s programme for 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts commission for the First World War centenary.

Read more
icon-play-white-opt Created with Sketch.



Nawr Yr Arwr/Now The Hero is a multi-artform, site-specific project created by Swansea born interdisciplinary artist Marc Rees for 14-18-NOW. This bold and exciting commemoration of WWI will take place in and around the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea during Harvest, September 2018.

Image: Hywel Harris


Now For More is an opportunity to enjoy Now the Hero's theme over a festival weekend. Swansea is a diverse city, packed with heritage, culture and creativity. Its cultural melting pot of museums, galleries, parks and theatres will interpret, in their own way, the impact of war and conflict on human relationships, through special events, exhibitions, artists’ talks, family activities and trails, public art, workshops and performances.