Compared to the other great poets who fought in the Great War, Charles Sorley is relatively unknown. Neil McPherson’s brand new play about the Scottish poet who died in the trenches on 13th October 1915 brought to life the young man and his brief experiences of the world in a subtle and sensitive way.
Neil weaves together the many poems and letters written to his friends and family to recreate the story of Sorley’s life, providing us with a real insight into the young man. His parents, when faced with his death at the opening of the play, must decide what to do with his letters and poems, and in delving into them, Charles comes back to life on stage narrating sections from his journals, poems and letters. In addition to the roles of Charles and his parents there are a singer and pianist who both sing and perform songs in English and German of the war time era. This musical touch added a beautiful extra layer to this insightful piece.
Alexander Knox is fantastic as the young poet displaying intelligence, humility and charisma that were no doubt fundamental characteristics of the late poet. His parents are played excellently by Jenny Lee and Tom Marshall.
This was a great creation from Neil McPherson introducing us to the voice of the brilliant, unsentimental and honest young Scot. It is a shame that this is now sold out, but it is a testament to the quality of this work. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket to this one!
Highlight of the show – Charles’ entrance, bounding onto the stage with a bolt of energy to deliver ‘The Song of The Ungirt Runners’.