Model Lily is a lady of Troy

Lily Cole as Valentina in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. She is to play Helen of Troy at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
Lily Cole as Valentina in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. She is to play Helen of Troy at the Royal Exchange, Manchester

Cole will star as Helen in wonderful production of the Greek siege

The face that has launched many thousands of ad campaigns becomes the face that launched a thousand ships when Lily Cole plays Helen of Troy at the Royal Exchange in Manchester from next week.

The world premiere of The Last Days Of Troy – by acclaimed poet and novelist Simon Armitage – continues the current Spring / Summer Season at the venue from May 8 to June 7. Actress and model Lily Cole’s film credits include The Moth Diaries, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Passages and There Be Dragons.

In this fusion of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid, the Greeks are laying siege to the ancient city of Troy to try and win back their abducted queen Helen, reputedly the most beautiful woman in the world.

At a time when the nation is commemorating World War One, it tells the story of an ancient battle, its legendary heroes and noble losers.

Also appearing are David Birrell and Gillian Bevan (last seen to great effect at the Exchange in Sweeney Todd) and Clare Calbraith (previously seen in Saturday Night And Sunday Morning).

The Last Days Of Troy will play in repertoire with the world premiere of Gareth Farr’s Britannia Waves The Rules, which tells the story of young soldier Karl who is discharged from the army with post traumatic stress disorder.

After its run at the Royal Exchange, The Last Days Of Troy will transfer to The Globe in London where it will play from June 10 to 28.

Box Office: 0161 833 9833 or www.royalexchange.co.uk.