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Dukes Young Actors present war drama with a difference

Chris Satori
A century after the outbreak of World War One, what does war and conflict mean to young people today?

Find out at The Dukes from this Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd March when the Lancaster theatre stages a bold and thrilling new production – Your Country Needs You! (But I don’t need my country…).

Some of the fifty members of The Dukes Young Actors and Young Company presenting the production are the same age as many soldiers who served in the Great War. And during the preparations for the show, the 14 to 20-year-olds researched the war at Lancashire Infantry Museum, took part in a military drill and discovered what war is like nowadays from a Lancaster soldier who served in Afghanistan.

These experiences have fed back into the four short new plays, by awardwinning writers, which fuse together to produce Your Country Needs You! 

Laurence Wilson, who wrote the successful productions of The Unsociables and Metropolis for The Dukes, focuses his play on two young soldiers returning to Britain from Afghanistan and the different paths they take. It explores their experiences of war and the psychological impact of conflict.

The Combined Services Entertainment organisation, formerly ENSA, is at the heart of Daragh Carville’s play which follows two Lancashire cadets sent to Camp Bastion to entertain the troops.

Eddie Robson’s play takes a Monty Pythonesque look at the development of the arms race and the rules of war by focusing on children playing a game of war in a make believe playground.

And the fourth play looks at how civilians are affected by war by drawing on testimonials from a Gaza youth project.

Your Country Needs You! (But I don’t need my country…) is very much a contemporary take on war. It follows in the tradition of the previously successful productions of The Unsociables and Hamlet by The Dukes Young Actors and Young Company.

Performances, which are recommended for anyone aged 14 plus, will be in The Round at The Dukes and feature live music.

Director, Louie Ingham, said: “We want to produce theatre that’s exciting for young people to make and exciting for people of any age to watch. This production explores our place in the world and is our response to the first of five years of investigating World War One and what conflict means to young people now.”

Performances daily from 18 - 22 March 2014 at 7.30pm + Saturday 22 March matinee at 2pm.
Age guidance 14+
There will be a post show talk-back after the performance on Tuesday 18 March.
Ask at the Box Office to find out more about The Dukes Young Programme and workshops and events running alongside this show.  
Tickets £9 (£7 conc) from the Box Office: 01524 598500 or online at: