Neil Brand ‘1918, at Home, at War…’
Neil Brand composer, author, presenter and historian returns to Eastbourne on Sunday 11th November with ‘1918, at Home, at War…’
In the 1980’s Neil was part of the team that opened and ran the Tivoli Performing Arts Centre and co-wrote and mounted the musicals ‘Easy Money’ and ‘House of Dreams’ (winner of the Vivian Ellis prize) at the Devonshire Park Theatre. The Tivoli was where he first accompanied silent films for the Eastbourne Film Society. He is now renowned for his work with early film (including orchestral scores with the BBC Symphony Orchestra), his radio dramas including musical adaptations with the BBCSO of ‘Wind in the Willows’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the acclaimed ‘Stan‘ (starring Tom Courtenay which was Sony-nominated) and his highly popular appearances on Radio 4’s Film Programme and BBC4 TV with Sound of Cinema and Sound of Song.
During ‘1918, at Home, at War…’ Neil Brand introduces and accompanies this fascinating programme of films, music, stories and readings from the pivotal year of 1916.
Joined onstage by readers, he invites us into a lost world of wartime activity on the Western and Home fronts – while the soldiers attempt to break the deadlock with the disastrous Battle of the Somme and the first appearance of “The Wonder Weapon”, The Tank, their wives and families at home are struggling to keep the home fires burning, ‘making do and mending’ and learning to create luxurious suet puddings from potatoes, as recommended by Henry Edwards and Chrissie White, the “Brangelina” of their day.
War art, wax records of night attacks that sold in their thousands and films of everything from pantomime shows and female impersonators to a railway ride through a bombed city – the extraordinary panorama of 1918 as it happened to a stunned populace at home and abroad springs to life in this involving and surprising show.
Neil Brand has had the full co-operation of the Imperial War Museum and the BFI in searching out original material that takes us deep inside the experience of ordinary people caught up in the war in 1918. In the style of his earlier shows with Luke McKernan (including “Around the World in 1900” and “Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee”) this show uses superb performances of readings, films and music to place the audience at the heart of a lost world, where a British populace is still coming to terms with a world that has changed forever.
The Royal Hippodrome Theatre
One performance only on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November at 5pm.
All Tickets: £12 available from the Box Office 01323 802020