‘The 306: Dawn’ World Premiere in rural Perthshire

April 11, 2016 by Perthshire Creates

The 306: Dawn is a new piece of music theatre directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s Artistic Director, Laurie Sansom, written by Oliver Emanuel and composed by Gareth Williams.

Based on real events, it charts the heart-breaking journey of three of the 306 British soldiers who were executed for cowardice, desertion and mutiny during World War I (1914-18).  The work is a co-commission with 14-18 NOW, the UK’s First World War centenary cultural programme, in association with Red Note Ensemble,

Poignant and powerful, The 306: Dawn will be performed in a transformed barn in the Perthshire countryside, exploring the lives of these unknown soldiers – who appear on no war memorials, to give them back their voices, stories and names.

The 306: Dawn is Part I of a trilogy of new plays, with live music, commemorating the First World War, to be presented in 2016, 2017 and 2018.  These plays will explore personal stories of the 306, as well as looking at how the war affected women, families and communities on the home front.  The first part of the trilogy is set in France, around the time of the Battle of the Somme and will mark the 100th anniversary of this Battle.

Joseph Byers (17) from Glasgow. Too young to enlist, Joe, like so many at the time, has lied about his age to join the other men at the Front. However, his dreams of being a solider are quickly destroyed by the brutal realities of trench warfare and he soon finds himself in trouble with the authorities.

Private Harry Farr (25) from London.  Traumatised by the things he has seen and lived through as a serving soldier, Harry is suffering from shell-shock and is now unable to fight. He has subsequently been convicted of cowardice and, as he waits to hear his fate, he dreams of his wife and hopes for a last minute reprieve.

Lance-Sergeant Joseph Willie Stones (24) from Durham. Having used his rifle to block the entrance to a trench during fierce fighting, Joseph stands accused of casting away his arms in combat – an offence punishable by death. He thought he was protecting his men, but the top brass want to make an example of him to maintain discipline in the ranks.

With a contemporary score performed live by the Red Note Ensemble, the songs explore the vulnerability and devastation of the battlefields, alongside the inner struggles of the men.  The 306: Dawn is written by Oliver Emanuel and composed by Gareth Williams; directed by Laurie Sansom; costume and set designed by Becky Minto; lighting Design by Simon Wilkinson; musical direction by Jonathan Gill.

Venue:   Dalcrue Farm, Pitcairngreen, Perth

Dates:  24 to 26 May (previews) 27 May (school performance) and 28 May to 11 June 2016

Travel: Audiences will be transported from Perth Concert Hall to the farm

Age guide:   14+

Opening Performance on Sat 28 May at Dalcrue Farm, Pitcairngreen, Perth at 2.15am (dawn).

Tickets are available from Perth Theatre website and Box Office – 01738 621031. Full ticket information is available from www.nationaltheatrescotland.com. Tickets will need to be purchased in advance, and are not available to buy from the farm. Join the conversation: #The306