Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Video: New "Christmas Truce" Play Based on Cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather's World War One Experience

Warwickshire, UK: Phil Porter has written a new play based on a real event in the First World War. "The Christmas Truce," directed by the Royal Shakespeare Company's Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, tells the stories of local soldiers from the Warwickshire Regiment and

"… in particular, the experiences of local cartoonist, Bruce Bairnsfather, who worked at the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre as an electrical engineer, and whose famous comic creation 'Old Bill' was hugely popular with the troops."

From the RSC page:

December 1914. As families across Europe gather to celebrate Christmas, a generation of young men find themselves far away from their loved ones in the trenches of the Western Front. There they face a world seemingly devoid of any peace or goodwill. But on Christmas Eve 1914, as the men of the Warwickshire Regiment shelter in their trenches, something astonishing happens 
Across no-man's land they hear music. The German soldiers are singing Christmas carols; the same carols their families are listening to, hundreds of miles away in Birmingham, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon. Leaving their trenches, carrying only their courage and their humanity, they go to meet their enemies; not to fight, but talk, to exchange gifts, to celebrate Christmas. And the next day, together, they play an unforgettable game of football. 
Inspired by real events of exactly 100 years ago, RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman directs Phil Porter's uplifting new play for families that celebrates a remarkable Christmas story.

Below: Erica Whyman and Phil Porter introduce "The Christmas Truce" | Royal Shakespeare Company:

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