AWARD-WINNNG poet and dramatist Glyn Maxwell has been commissioned by city arts organisation Chester Performs to write a new play entitled Merlin And The Woods Of Time.

The play will be performed by an impressive cast of professional actors during this summer’s popular Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre season from July 7– August 21.

Described by critics as “the best dramatic poet of a generation”, Maxwell has won several awards for his writing including the coveted EM Forster Prize for which previous winners include Seamus Heaney and the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Maxwell has an extensive catalogue of work which includes poetry, film, radio, opera and theatre and he has taught at Princeton, New York University and The Poetry School and Goldsmiths College, London.

Glyn said: “I was delighted to be asked to write for The Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, it’s a magical and enchanting venue, perfect for Merlin.”

Andrew Bentley of Chester Performs said: “We’re really excited to have such an established writer on board, Merlin is set to be a real crowd pleaser.”

Merlin and the Woods of Time will be a light hearted and fast paced comedy. Set backstage at a jousting tournament, many other familiar characters from the great Arthurian legend will appear in the play such as Lancelot, Guinevere, Arthur and, of course, Merlin the wizard.

The much loved story of Merlin has a rich history in theatre and television, most recently with the BBC One hit series.

Merlin and the Woods of Time will be directed by Alex Clifton and will feature alongside a new performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is the only full time professional open air theatre company outside of London.

Last year’s debut season attracted over 5,500 visitors and was described as idyllic and impressive in The Guardian’s four star review.

Tickets are on sale now from £12. Book online at , by calling 0843 241 7868 or by visiting Chester Visitor Information Centre.