Excitement builds for Michael Sheen's show of Passion in Port Talbot
THE excitement is building for actors working with Michael Sheen on a unique live play set in Port Talbot.
Rehearsals are now halfway through for The Passion, which will be played out in real time from Good Friday until Easter Sunday, beginning and ending at Aberavon Beach.
Michael, creative director of the project which has been written by Welsh author Owen Sheers, has been joined by 14 professional actors from Port Talbot and Neath for the performance.
But in total the three-day play, which is being staged by National Theatre Wales, will be supported by 1,000 cast members from the community.
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Kristian Phillips, from Sunnycroft Road in Baglan, said rehearsals had been going very well.
"It has been such a different process to what we are used to," said the 22-year-old.
"On the first day none of us had scripts. There is an image in Michael's head which we are trying to create visually and on a huge scale.
"As we have gone and visited some of the community groups, they have helped to inspire us because they are giving up their time for the project."
Mr Phillips, who also recently held an acting workshop at Blaenbaglan Primary School, said: "It is all very exciting as some things on this sort of scale you just can't practice.
"Michael has been at rehearsals every day. I don't know how he does it all. His commitment is completely to the project."
Rhys Matthews, 27, from Velindre, is also part of the 14member cast.
"It is a lot of hard work and long days, but it is all starting to come together now," he said.
"It is very much a creative piece where things are changing constantly."
Artistic director of National Theatre Wales John McGrath said the excitement was really building.
"In the National Theatre Wales office we are getting calls from people all over the UK and beyond who want to come to the event," he said.
"And in Port Talbot itself, it seems like half the population is involved in the show at this point!
"Michael, Owen and some of the artists involved showed some snippets of the piece at the Senedd building last week and everyone was blown away by the power of the script and performance.
"It's going to be a truly extraordinary weekend!"