Dilated Theatre Company brings John Wilson’s courtroom drama For King And Country comes to Southwark Playhouse in June.
For the first time in half a century, John Wilson’s military courtroom drama For King And Country comes to the Southwark Playhouse. Presented by Dilated Theatre Company to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, For King and Country will be direcetd by Paul Tomlinson, designed by Jacqueline Gunn and produced by Alexander Neal.
For King and Country follows a soldier’s court martial for desertion and the struggle of his defending officer to acquit the young man in the face of bureaucracy and his own naïve honesty. Many years before PTSD was officially recognised, it explores the brutality of war and what happened to the men who could take no more. The play was originally performed as Hamp at the Edinburgh Festival in 1964 by a cast including Leonard Rossiter, John Hurt and Richard Briers, and was adapted into the BAFTA-nominated film King and Country.
1918. The Western Front. Private Hamp, a young working-class soldier from Lancashire, has been in the front-line of a bloody battlefield for three years. One day he decides to walk away…
For King and Country follows the shell-shocked soldier’s trial for desertion, and his defending officer’s fight to keep him from the firing squad.
Death sentences were passed by the British Army in courts martial between 1914 and 1924 for offences such as sleeping on duty, cowardice, desertion, murder, mutiny and treason. Over 3,000 received a death sentence, but many of these sentences were later changed to other punishments, such as hard labour or penal servitude.
Dilated Theatre Company was founded in 2011 by Alexander Neal with the aim to stage work speaking for the voiceless in society.
For King And Country plays at Southwark Playhouse from 28 June to 21 July 2018.