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On demand: It's Easy to be Dead

Recorded at Finborough Theatre, London, United Kingdom
Online until Tuesday 7 July 2020

By Neil McPherson. Based on the poetry, letters and brief life of Charles Hamilton Sorley. The action takes place in England, Germany and France 1913–1918.

Music and Songs by Gertrud Emily Borngräber, Rupert Brooke, William Denis Browne, George Butterworth, Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, André Devaere, George Dyson, Ernest Bristow Farrar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ivor Gurney, A. E. Housman, John Ireland, Donnchadh MacIain, John Masefield, Rudi Stephan and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

When twenty year old Charles Sorley is killed in action during the First World War, his devastated parents are left with only his letters and poems to remember him by. Using his extraordinary writings, together with music and songs of the period, It Is Easy To Be Dead is a tender portrait of a brief life filled with promise, cut short by the futility of war, and was nominated for an Olivier Award. Charles Sorley was a witty, intelligent and spirited young man from Aberdeen, with a talent for poetry and dreams of escaping his privileged background. Studying in Germany in 1914 – where he was briefly imprisoned as an enemy alien – his life, like those of millions of other young men and their families, was ripped apart by the start of the First World War. Inspired by his experiences in Germany and of the horror and pity of war, he created some of the most profound and moving war poetry ever written, directly inspiring the grim disillusionment of later poets such as Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. It Is Easy To Be Dead features live music and songs from some of the greatest composers of the period including George Butterworth, Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, Ivor Gurney, John Ireland, Rudi Stephan and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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