Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

2 for 1 on The Butcher's Bill

A new hard-hitting play about the First World War is debuting at The Customs House in South Shields this week.Written and directed by two Tyneside men, The Butcher’s Bill follows the story of three men in No Man’s Land in 1916. All three have different reasons for trying to escape the fighting, and all three are desperate to survive. Whilst waiting for an opportunity to escape they argue about war in general, and tension grows between them as their survival instincts clash with their beliefs in common humanity.Writer Ken Reay explains: “I have always been fascinated by the bravery shown by soldiers, and in particular those in the First World War who knew that they were facing almost certain death or mutilation when they went over the top. Many men could have found excuses to stay at home but still joined the forces. “The three characters in the play need not be in the war. One is too young, one too old and the other could have stayed in India. “In the fog of war, and with no modern communications, many men, even whole companies, became lost and wandered for days looking for their units. Some of them, on return, were shot for cowardice as an example to the others. The three characters are trying to make their minds up about whether to return to the madness and danger or run away. It seems to me that all soldiers, including today’s highly trained professionals fighting in Iraq and Afganistan face that decision every day.“The Butchers Bill is at the Customs House from Sept 4 to Sept 8. Tickets cost £9, £7 for concessions or £5 for groups of 10 or more, including schools. To book, phone the box office on 0191 4541234. offer for bdaily readers: 2 for 1 offer on any showing of The Butchers Bill. Simply quote ‘bdaily’ when buying tickets.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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