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Horror of war handed down through generations

The Pity of War Season, Loft Theatre, Leamington, October 7-20

This autumn will see a number of performances and cultural events marking the anniversary of the end of the First World War, and the Loft presents two productions in The Studio across two weeks.

The first, Anthem For Doomed Youth, devised and directed by David Fletcher, is based on the poems of Wilfred Owen, plus other writing from the period of the Great War. Owen’s poignant, moving, and sometimes angry poetry has been arranged to tell the story of "the war to end all wars", from the departure of our troops, through the carnage of battle to the "drawing down of blinds" on November 11, 1918.

Combined with songs and hymns from the period, the poems are delivered in dramatic settings, some spoken by soldiers and some by the women who observe them.

The second, The Silence, is the premiere of a new play by David Fletcher, writer of The Ballad of Lady Bessy which sold out at the Loft Studio last year.

Directed by Sue Moore, The Silence is about more recent conflict and brings up to date the unchanging horrors of war and its aftermath.

Loosely based on a real-life case, the powerful and moving drama tells the story of a soldier returned from the Falklands to a military hospital in the UK. He is physically unhurt, but he does not speak. A counsellor helps him emerge from his silence and eventually, the full horrors of the soldier’s experiences come to light.

Following each of the weekday performances, members of the audience will have the opportunity to discuss the performance informally with the author, director and cast members.

Full details of performance dates and times can be found on the Loft Theatre Company website (

For tickets go to the website, email or call 01926 800360. Seating in The Studio is limited, so early booking is advised.

Picture: A scene from Anthem For Doomed Youth, by Richard Smith Photography.

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