Culture House Daily

Shot at Dawn: an emotionally charged WWI musical

3 July 2014

A court-martial — followed by an execution: not exactly promising ingredients for a musical. But Ross Clark’s new music drama Shot at Dawn turns out to be unexpectedly moving. On the outbreak of the first world war, Adam, a farm labourer, enlists in the army, despite being underage, and is later shot for cowardice; his sister Georgina fights to clear his name.  That’s the plot in short.

With a minimum of props and a piano, nine actors manage to captivate and draw in the audience. How? Through the emotional charge generated by the words and music. It’s an evening that leaves you surreptitiously reaching for a handkerchief.

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Highly recommended….

Shot at Dawn is on at the Gatehouse on 1-3 July and the Mumford Theatre, Cambridge, on the 4 and 5th July.

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Show comments
  • Moputabee

    Cowards at the time and that is how they should be judged.

    They may have been harsh times but they were harsh times for everybody, especially for those who fought, died and were grievously physically wounded.

    No sympathy whatsoever for those deserters and cowards who let their mates get on with it.

    This sentimental need to interfere in ignorance of actually living through those times is a sad joke.

  • Jez

    What a change.

    Media types drawing on just a very minute negative segment of our history again.

  • ADW

    This is the second ad that the Spectator has offered as a blog – who is this Clark anyway? Does he have shares in the Speccie or something?

    Anyway you haven’t told us much about the play at all in this blog. In Clark’s own one he demonstrated ignorance on the subject and offered a very lame set of reasoning as to why he wants to stand in judgement on long dead participants in a war of which he appears to know nothing. He was rightly torn to shreds in the comments section. So why are we getting this inflicted on us again?

  • Mr Grumpy

    Unexpected indeed that Ms Anderson should feel moved to write a plug for the work of a fellow Speccie scribe.

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