Friday, 19 June 2015

Who's Best at War? Grist to the Mill or Contemporary Theatre of Scotland

Ladies and gentlemen, The Vile Arts presents...

The first in a series of competitions, that are really a cheeky attempt to escape from more churnalism...

We give you...

Who's best at WAR?

Our first company tonight is the UK's Grist To The Mill. Having been at the Fringe before, they have called up ward nominated writer of Casualties, Ross Ericson to take a look at the aftermath of the First World War. 

The Unknown Soldier
Jack stayed on when the guns fell silent, to search the battlefields for the boys that could not go home - for the dead and the missing, for both enemy and friend – and among the rusty wire and unexploded bombs Jack is looking for something – looking for someone. He has a promise to keep and a debt to repay, and now there is this strange request from the generals.

Ericson's story of The Unknown Soldier is moving, often humorous, but above all thought provoking. It looks at the First World War from a new perspective, through the eyes of a man who has survived the carnage but who finds it hard to return home. It is a story of the betrayal of the men they called heroes, of the deep friendship that can only be found between those who fight and die together, and of a world that was changed for ever.

Ericson uses his military experience to give this play an authentic voice. He brings to it his usual attention to detail and even includes some family stories, making this a very personal piece. It is as gritty and as moving as Casualties, for which he was nominated for an Off West End Award, and shows a writer true to his form. 

Venue Box Office: 0131 220 5911/

EdFringe Box Office: 0131 226 0000/

Nest up we have The Last Kill. Taking a different angle - albeit another study of the aftermath. Made by Contemporary Theatre of Scotland, it is not for the faint of heart.

The Last Kill sees Michael become a soldier before he becomes a man. Throughout the play he struggles to identify with his actions as he pieces together the puzzle of his past. Trapped in a cycle of reliving his experiences and suffering beyond the help of drugs, he deteriorates under the consequences of a life where war has an ever-present factor.

Through earthy language and dark humour, this modern tragedy explores the destructive effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Intense, gritty and honest, this timely story captures the howl of doomed youth amidst the contemporary social and cultural politics of conflict.

About the Companies:
Grist To The Mill produces challenging and engaging work. We provoke and entertain our audiences, giving them an exciting collective experience.

Grist To The Mill was founded in 2012 with the core purpose of producing exciting new writing and reimagined classics for a new generation. Grist To The Mill's first production was 'Punchline' at the Vibe Gallery in Brick Lane, London, followed up by a double header of '27 Wagons Full of Cotton' and 'The Interview' at the same venue. In 2013 they produced 'Casualties' at the Park Theatre and worked with Red Dragonfly Productions bringing four shows – 'Punchline', 'Life', 'The Princess and The Pea' and 'The Autumn of Han' – to the Edinburgh Festival. 'The Autumn of Han' subsequently toured by Red Dragonfly and Grist to The Mill to small and medium sized venues through Spring 2014 and Autumn 2015.

Contemporary Theatre of Scotland is a new theatre company with a Scottish voice whose objective is to shine a light on the social and political issues of our time. With a focus on new writing and experimental techniques, we aim to make theatre that speaks to the heart of modern audiences.

Using influences from the overlapping styles of Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook and In-Yer-Face Theatre, CTS aims to make a bold impression with it's debut performance, which is small in scale and big in ideas.

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