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Theatre Centre commemorate 100 years since First World War with new show The Muddy Choir

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The Muddy Choir, a new show by Jesse Briton (Bound, Enduring Song), is the latest play commissioned and produced by Theatre Centre, a company with a 60-year pedigree in producing quality theatre for young audiences.

The show toured to over forty schools and eleven venues between September and November 2014, and tours again in January and February 2015 performing at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Friday 13 February, 7.30pm. The show takes audiences into the trenches of Ypres, introducing them to three teenage soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry – Will, Robbie and Jumbo.

The show commemorates the heartbreak, humour, passion and desperation of those caught up in the First World War, as the three characters form an ad-hoc choir and attempt to use singing to find a way away from the front. The play contains close-harmony versions of popular North-East folk songs of the period.

The Public Reviews wrote:

There will be many more plays on this subject before the centenary period is over but The Muddy Choir has set a high standard. It may be a short piece giving insight into one small aspect of an enormous conflict but it manages to be thought-provoking, blackly funny and deeply moving – in fact exactly how a play about the First World War ought to be written.

The Stage wrote:

Well-pitched for teenagers, this is a sensitive memorial to a generation of young men, so many of whom were teenagers themselves.

The Muddy Choir, as with all Theatre Centre shows, is specifically written with a young audience in mind – in this case those aged over 13. Part of the development of the show included performances and feedback from students from The Bridge Academy in Hackney, East London.

The Muddy Choir playwright Jesse Briton said:

“In this centenary year there’s a particular significance in bringing to schools and venues work that reflects the reality of the First World War for the millions caught up in it, including so many young people. To write a new play on this topic is a daunting challenge, made achievable only by the humanity of Theatre Centre’s approach to making new theatre and their team’s commitment to young audiences.”

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