To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, Nottingham Playhouse has announced its first rural touring show in over a decade.
The Second Minute, is a new play written by Andy Barrett, directed by Giles Croft and designed by Sarah Lewis, which explores the emotional impact of the war on the ordinary men that became soldiers.
It was inspired by the real-life letters written to and from the frontline - scraps of paper with hastily written messages of love; requests for salted bacon and shaving brushes and telling of gas attacks, births and deaths.
The result is a simply staged, poignant and uplifting play which weaves together heroic, comic, and heart-breaking tales of soldiers and families through their own words.
The Second Minute explores the devastating impact of modern war, seen through the eyes of Laura, (who has lost her son in Afghanistan), as well as the affect of a war one hundred years ago.
It will be shown at venues across the East Midlands including Thoresby Riding Hall Theatre on 8th May. For tickets call Mansfield 822009 or see www.villageventures.org.uk. It will also be performed twice at the Playhouse’s Neville Studio on Monday 26th May as part of the neat 2014 festival.
Writer Andy Barrett said: “Sitting at the small archives office at Chilwell Barracks and reading through these letters from nearly a century ago, some from men who survived and some from men who didn’t, was an incredibly moving and powerful experience.
“My aim for this piece is to somehow recreate those emotions; to try and allow the audience into the very heart of that moment when a letter arrives and is read for the first time; and to use that to tell a wider story about the impact of the First World War on the families of those who were waiting for their loved ones to return home safely.”
Other nearby tour dates are:
Saturday 3rd May 2pm & 8pm at Derby Theatre. Call 01332 593939 or see www.derbytheatre.co.uk.
Wednesday 7th May, 7.30pm at Thrumpton Village Hall. Call 0115 9830373, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.villageventures.org.uk.
Friday 9th May, 7.30pm at Chilwell Arts Theatre. Call 0115 9252698, email: email@example.com or see www.villageventures.org.uk.
Saturday 10th May, 8.00pm at The Theatre, South Nottingham Academy. Call 0115 9334115, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.villageventures.org.uk.
Sunday 11th May, 7.30pm at Harworth&Bircotes Town Hall. Call 01302 752642, email: email@example.com or see www.villageventures.org.uk
Tuesday 27th May, 2pm, (neat 14) at The Chase, Nottingham. Call 0115 941 9419 or see www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk.