All the War’s a Stage – ‘The Dreamers’ Puts Musical Spin on WW1

Play Shines Spotlight on Soldiers’ Longings for Home

THE FIRST WORLD WAR Centenary, which this summer enters its second year, has thus far seen anniversary book releases, documentaries, TV adsmuseum exhibits and even massive outdoor art displays. And now a U.K.-based theatre troupe is adding a musical stage production to the list of commemorations.

The real Capt. Reggie Salomons. (Image source: Runner Bean Limited)

The real Capt. Reggie Salomons. (Image source: Runner Bean Limited)

The Dreamers, which opens this week at London’s ultra-modern St. James Theatre, is the story of real-life British army captain David ‘Reggie’ Salomons as he prepares to lead his troops into battle at Gallipoli. Along the way, we meet an assortment of other characters from a reluctant infantryman by the name of Jack Hastings to an English housewife turned munitions worker and even a 12-year-old boy who longs to get in on what he thinks is the adventure of a lifetime.

A 20-member cast brings the one-hour and 50-minute production to life, with the help of on-screen narration by Amanda Redman, Christopher Beeny and Sir Tim Rice. The six-piece contemporary rock act, Virgin Soldiers, provides a rich and poignant musical score that’s performed live.

The play was inspired by the words of First World War poet Siegfried Sasoon: “Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin they think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.”

The Dreamers opens tomorrow and runs through July 11. Check it out below.

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