Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Greetings From The Trenches - work in progress

For a while now I have been working on a theatre piece that will be shown in early December at the Jakobus Theatre in Karlsruhe - Germany. I have strong connections with this theatre space and the people who run it and the piece suits the themes of post war Germany and England after The Great War. 'Greeting From The Trenches' is about factual events and a fictionalised notion of two opposing soldiers (one English, one German) meeting at the Christmas Truce and realising the potential in their friendship.

So much has been read about such fraternisation and the promise to write 'after the war is over' and as far as I know there is little evidence that any such discourse happened. My theatre piece examines a poetic notion of the possibility that it did and what the correspondents may talk/write about and how long the writing practise would exist for. Plus what would be subjects? Commonalities? Politics? Normal; life? Poverty? The future? Deep regret? Food?

Emma Brown, an actress based in Holland and a Mezzo/Alt singer joins me for this extraordinary theatre piece and I was delighted to meet up with her last week for a read through of the script so far and a rehearsal. Emma is a superb singer and a fine actress.

Alongside the research ( boy can you research too much about WW1!) and the writing, the script has been developed to the point of  great promise and I have sent off a copy of the play's synopsis to Nottingham Playhouse's Time & Memory new writing initiative. Towards the end of this month I shall know if anything has become of my application.

A couple of weeks ago I had a short tune go through my head that seemed fitting for this piece and rather than assume that I might remember it later in the evening I recorded it on my Dictaphone. Today I have created a short video that shows the development of such an idea. My instinct is to use the tune as a prelude to a poem played on a piano or sung by Emma.

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