Now the Hero is an immersive theatrical experience taking place 25 – 29 September in Swansea. Intertwining three narratives of war, through music, poetry, horticulture and performance, we asked Marc Rees to talk us through the inspiration behind the ghost tank in his epic performance Now the Hero.
“About 6 months ago a very keen 16 year old school boy from Abergavenny, George Haylock sent me an email outlining his fascination with The First World War and his passion for Frank Brangwyn and included some of his school art work based on Brangwyn’s rejected first scheme ‘A Tank In Action’ that’s now displayed in the foyer of the National Museum in Cardiff.
A Tank in Action - Frank Brangwyn
A transciption of Brangwyn's painting by George Haylock
Inspiration board by George Haylock
I was blown away by the attention to detail and his obvious talent so decided to meet him along with Buddug Jones, Now The Hero’s designer. We were both suitably impressed. I’d always wanted a First World War tank to be a part of the show, life size but not a replica, a paired down impression of one, a ‘ghost Tank’.
After discussing its potential shape, function and materials I decided to ask George to build a model of the ‘Ghost Tank’ and Buddug and her team then constructed it exactly to George’s spec and it’s magnificent.
Sketches of the Ghost Tank, by George Haylock
Construction of the Now the Hero Ghost Tank
He hasn’t seen the finished sculpture and I can’t wait to reveal it to him, it will form a pivotal part of the production when it’s paraded down a Swansea street flanked by young soldiers of which George and three of his friends will participating.
A month ago the artist Graham Parker who’s part of NOW FOR MORE (a city wide micro festival responding to Now The Hero’s themes) sent me an incredible photo of a WW1 Tank travelling down Swansea High St with a large crowd, he’s also using this image to inspire a new series of work which will be part of a groups show Something’s We Forgot To Remember at Swansea Museum.”
WWI tank on Swansea High Street