BY JEFFREY GRENFELL-HILL
This ensemble play is perfect for schools and colleges wanting to engage students with the issue of war.
August 1914: War is declared in Germany. The play explores the reactions of ordinary men and women to the British military recruitment drive, and the branding of young men who didn’t join up as cowards.
Moving to the trenches, the shock and tedium of those caught up in the terrible conflict is portrayed, from the ordinary soldier, to volunteer nurses, to the officers faced with an impossible task of winning a few yards of territory on the battlefield.
Home-leave to “Blighty” becomes an essential respite for war-weary young soldiers longing to escape from the trauma of their experiences.
“… a versatile dramatic script not only for a full-scale production but as a teaching resource which can be used by classroom drama teachers or for cross-curricular teaching.” – John Rhys Thomas, former headteacher
Jeffrey Grenfell-Hill trained for the professional theatre at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where he was chosen to be student director in the final year. After a tour of American colleges, universities and performing arts centres, he was invited to join the examining board of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
His poems have appeared in Penguin and Heinemann anthologies. Samuel French have published his plays, and his monologues for young actors have been published by Oberon Books in an anthology edited by Shaun McKenna. His monologues and duologues have been chosen for the LAMDA examination syllabus for the acting exams as ‘setpieces’. They are often performed as ‘own choice’ selections at major festivals of Speech and Drama. Jeffrey himself is an adjudicator of many years’ standing with a doctorate from the University of Wales. He was Director of Sixth Form Studies at St George’s School, Harpenden, where he taught A/S and A level Theatre Studies.
Jeffrey remains an examiner for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and in this capacity examines both in the UK and overseas.