World Premiere of KING & COUNTRY, a WWI Opera, at the Brighton Fringe

World Premiere of KING & COUNTRY, a WWI Opera, at the Brighton Fringe

A powerful new piece of musical theatre by Rottingdean residents Jane Bramwell (Book and Lyrics) and Michael Brand (Music) will be staged as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe on May 22, 23 and 25th.

"King & Country" is a musical drama about how the War affected the well-to-do Rokeby family and as the action unfolds the Chorus comments on War as well as and taking the parts of Sussex families. Their contribution includes poignant letters describing local people's experiences of WW1, and follows the fate of individual soldiers.

Two of the show's performances are at the Unitarian Church in Brighton which has a striking WW1 commemorative window. The roll of names will be featured, not just as names but as people. (photo available) The last performance will be at the Friends Meeting House.

The show is based on a 1923 play about the War - "The Conquering Hero" by Allan Monkhouse. It also features World War 1 poems by Edward Thomas (d.1917) and Roland Leighton (d.1915), whose fiancée Vera Brittain wrote 'Testament of Youth'.

This professional semi-staged production is directed by David Kettle with Music Direction by Hastings resident Andrew Nicholson.

"We hope that as a result of these performances we can find ways to develop the piece. Of course it will work as a fully-fledged production but we also see opportunities for localised amateur shows with a large Chorus and incorporating characters and content based on local research" said composer Michael Brand.

Jane Bramwell said, " We hope that during the 4 year commemoration of World War 1 it will allow communities to come together to research and perform, stimulating a wider understanding of their shared heritage".

For more information go to www.kingandcountryopera.co.uk

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