Simon Armitage

The Last Days of Troy

The Last Days of Troy

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation


Lily Cole stars as Helen of Troy, ‘the face that launched a thousand ships’, in Simon Armitage’s vivid, visceral adaptation of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid

For ten years, the Greeks have been laying siege to Troy to win back their abducted queen, Helen. But as the war drags on, and the battlefields run scarlet with blood, the opposing forces are entrenched in a bitter stalemate. As Gods and mortals squabble amongst themselves for the spoils of war, the exhausted warriors go to extreme lengths in a desperate grab for victory…

Dramatised by multi-award-winning poet and playwright Simon Armitage, The Last Days of Troy was first produced as a stage play at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Shakespeare’s Globe, and this radio version features the original cast. Both a tense action adventure and a powerful commentary on the futility of war, it brings Homer’s ancient myth to dynamic life and explores themes that still resonate today, in a world locked in cycles of conflict and revenge, East versus West and with the same dangerous combination of pride, lies and self-deception that fuelled the Trojan War.

‘Armitage was the real star, with his vivid and muscular dialogue and occasional flashes of humour…The Last Days of Troy was a powerful reflection on the folly of men and the cruelty of war.’ – Independent

Cast and credits
Agamemnon.....David Birrell
Achilles.....Jake Fairbrother
Zeus.....Richard Bremmer
Odysseus.....Colin Tierney
Hera.....Gillian Bevan
Andromache/Thetis.....Claire Calbraith
Hector.....Simon Harrison
Helen.....Lily Cole
Paris.....Tom Stuart
Athene/Briseis.....Francesca Zoutewelle
Priam.....Garry Cooper
Patroclus.....Brendan O’Hea
Astyanax.....Luca Rawlinson

Original music by Alex Baranowski
Directed for radio by Susan Roberts
First directed for The Royal Exchange Theatre by Nick Bagnall