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Brink Productions

In this richly layered theatrical experience, Alice Oswald’s extraordinary poem is performed on a grand scale, brought to impassioned life inside Jocelyn Pook’s transporting, otherworldly score.

Out of the darkness, a vast field of bodies emerges. At the centre of this universe, a woman stands as storyteller, her voice conveying the voice of a god, of the elements, of time itself, and of a thousand lives caught in visceral moments of war. All the while, a 215-strong community chorus moves as a haunting and uplifting presence across the stage, which evolves from battlefield to meadow to starlit sky. 

Stripping much of the narrative from the Iliad, Oswald’s Memorial is an intense elegy for each of the 215 dead soldiers named in Homer’s epic. Her transformative text is embodied by one of Australia’s most celebrated actors, Helen Morse. Directed by Brink Productions’s Chris Drummond, with choreography by Circa’s Yaron Lifschitz, this reflective and dynamic show stands as a requiem to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Tagged with: Theatre & dance

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes/no interval
Age guidance: 12+

Fri 28 Sep
Post-show talk
(Free to same-day ticket holders)

Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Co-commissioned by the Barbican and 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. With assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival and Melbourne Festival, and with support from the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Arts, Culture Fund and the Harold Mitchell Foundation. This project is assisted by Arts SA - Independent Makers and Presenters - Major Commissions Fund and the Government of South Australia. 


‘A transcendent piece of theatre‘
‘This deeply moving and profound production is an important and world-class event ‘
‘A perfect storm of talent‘
‘Helen Morse is a powerhouse in this role and shows great grit and endurance‘
‘Oswald has achieved a miraculous feat‘


Barbican Theatre