Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the West End premiere of It Is Easy To Be Dead by award-winning playwright Neil McPherson.
“And your bright Promise, withered long and sped,
Is touched, stirs, rises, opens and grows sweet
And blossoms and is you, when you are dead.”
Neil McPherson’s new play is inspired by the poetry, letters and brief life of Charles Hamilton Sorley, a young man killed in action during the First World War, leaving behind only his letters and poems. Using his extraordinary writings, together with music and songs of the period, It Is Easy To Be Dead is a tender portrait of a brief life filled with promise, cut short by the futility of war.
It Is Easy To Be Dead runs from 9 November 2016 until 3 December 2016 at Trafalgar Studios.
Born in Aberdeen, Charles Sorley was studying in Germany when the First World War broke out and was briefly imprisoned as an enemy alien. He was one of the first to join the army in 1914.
Killed in action a year later at the age of 20, his poems are among the most ambivalent , profound and moving war poetry ever written.
It Is Easy To Be Dead tells the story of Sorley’s brief life through his work and music and songs from some of the greatest composers of the period including George Butterworth, Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, Ivor Gurney, John Ireland, Rudi Stephan and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The cast includes Alexander Knox as Sorley, Jenny Lee, Tom Marshall and tenor Hugh Benson and pianist Elizabeth Rossiter.
Directed by Max Key, with designed by Phil Lindley, costume by Charlotte Espiner, lighting and video by Rob Mills, sound by Nathan Hamilton and music direction by Elizabeth Rossiter.
★★★★★ The Guardian
Theatre InformationTrafalgar Studio One
Address: 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY
Nearest Underground: Charing Cross (Northern line, Bakerloo line)
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