This play is set in an unnamed English village near Bristol in the autumn of 1916, and focuses on the introduction of conscription and its brutal impact on a single family during the First World War. The father is the village schoolteacher. We start in his classroom and with the ideas that defined the Empire. His eldest son, who is 18, believes he should be a conscientious objector and accept the rejection of his community. The younger son, who is 16, wants to enlist. They both struggle to determine what is the right thing to do, and over the course of the play a young woman has to decide which brother she truly loves. Overall, the play explores ideas of patriotism, courage, gender, and love, and adapts the music of the English composer George Butterworth (who died on the Somme).
‘A moving and polemical meditation on faith, love and duty’ – Bristol Theatre Blog.
16. Written and Directed by R. Scott Fraser. The Brewery Theatre, February 2012. Designed by Louise Swindell. Costumes by James Friedlander-Boss. Photos by Stewart McPherson.