Return of the Soldier

Return of the Soldier

The Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats, Manchester, does a great job of putting on small productions but with massive talent. My most recent commission for them was The Return of the Soldier:

‘The Return of the Soldier, by Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, is a musical adaptation of Rebecca West’s remarkable novella written at the end of World War One.

Set in Harrow during the summer of 1916, The Return of the Soldier is an intensely bitter-sweet tale, dissecting the very different love of three women for one man. When Christopher returns from the front, shell-shocked and with memory loss, there are profound consequences for all three women and their love. In the end, only an extraordinary sacrifice will restore the fragile status quo.

Composer Charles Miller puts a unique and contemporary twist on several English music styles from the period in his evocative score. Tim Sanders’ script aims to capture West’s sardonic and contemporary humour as well as her painfully accurate insights into human folly. This exciting new musical adaptation will bring a compelling story of war to a whole new generation.’

The combination of both the period styling and talented actors with so many great character moments made the portraits a real pleasure to shoot.

 

First here is Esme Sears who plays Jenny, the young cousin who idolises the returning Christopher.


Next is Naomi Slights who plays Margaret, an old flame struggling to reconcile current and past loves.

Chris Jenkins as Christopher Baldry, the titular shellshocked soldier who can’t remember his past.

Tessa Kadler as Kitty, wife of Christopher, who has to get past her wounded pride to try and restore her husband’s memory.

And finally Marc Pickering as Mr Grey – hapless husband of Margaret who has to look on while the wife he loves and relies upon so much has an affair with a man who is the very opposite of him.

 

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