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Luck Of The Draw

By Richard Franklin

This very moving play is based on letters written by a young Officer in the Royal Field Artillery, Cyril Kimber, to his Family back home in Buckinghamshire;  and partly on the Reminiscences of a ‘tommy’ in the Norfolk Regiment, William Smith, who survived both World Wars playing his mandolin.
 
Cyril’s letters were written in 1914/15 from the Front Line in France.
 
Luck of the Draw is a ‘domestic’ take on  war and was  selected out of over 100 scripts for the RADA Festival 2016;  neither William’s Reminiscences, nor Cyril’s letters have ever been published, and combine to make a very moving statement about the friendships which can develope between people of very different backgrounds in the face of a common adversity:   mud and music were the cement which made all ranks realise their common humanity.

Mama Becomes Dada

(Original title Les Mamelles de Tiresias)
By Guillaume Apollinaire.
This is a very rare piece of ‘theatre’, and is not often performed:   It is in fact the first-ever ‘surrealist play written and is a preposterous absurdist physical comedy!   It was first performed in Paris in 1917 (at the instigation of Picasso) when Apollinaire was invalided out of WW1 and Francis Poulenc created an opera bouffe from the play in 1947.
Apollinaire deals with another serious subject, the result of war, but in an absurdly comic way!   The problem was the falling birth-rate in France, the loss of 1,4 million men in the War, and the rise of Feminism whose battle-cry was “No More Babies!”.
The setting is Zanzibar – someone gets tied to a palm tree – and a randy Gendarme gallops in to save the day!   To disclose more of the plot would ruin the surprise solution that Apollinaire conceives!   This play will probably appeal most to the over-15s and upwards      ( the sky’s the limit!).  Though there’s plenty for the 10 year olds to enjoy in the good clean fun of absurdism! “

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