RL upperclassmen and five Winsor students presented The Christmas Truce, the 2014 play by Phil Porter, on the Smith Theater stage over the 20-21 November weekend.
"The Christmas Truce clambers inside a familiar historical event and makes it resonate afresh," Dominic Cavendish wrote in a review in the Telegraph
of the RSC's premiere of the production last year. According to the Imperial War Museum, late on Christmas Eve 1914 men of the British Expeditionary Force heard the Germans singing carols, messages were shouted between the trenches and the following day British and German soldiers met in No Man's Land.
Cavendish wrote, "There’s an inspired blurring of the boundaries between the innocuous world of sport and innocence-shattering war, so that a simple over-arm bowling movement becomes a motif for a chap being “bowled out” by the Boche. And the men’s residual hankering after fun, games and fair play turns the apparently trivial into a serious theme: it dawns on everyone – including the spick-and-span nurses at the clearing hospital - that the only way they’re going to cope with the frozen, muddy, death-saturated horror is by taking pains to keep morale up."
The play includes a number of familiar English hymns (with additional music & original lyrics by Sam Kenyon). RL Drama Director Derek Nelson admits our boys sung with more polish than ordinary soldiers in the trenches might have done. It was hard to ignore that the actors, juniors and seniors, were either the very age or close to that of the soldiers they portrayed.See photos from the production here.