Trench Brothers is a new music theatre work commemorating in Brighton the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War through music, theatre and puppetry, bringing to life their hopes and fears, their longing for home, their camaraderie, courage and valour.
Directed by Clare Whistler and Freya Wynn-Jones to Neil Irish’s designs, it features over 250 children from local primary schools in Brighton, Newhaven, Lewes and Seaford alongside acclaimed jazz vocalist of the year and MOBO nominated Cleveland Watkiss and ‘superb’ (The Times) opera singer Damian Thantrey.
Renowned jazz composer Julian Joseph and award-winning composer Richard Taylor are joined by composers Michael Betteridge, Jenny Gould, Matthew King, James Redwood and Omar Shahryar in a unique collaboration drawing together work developed with schools across London, Lancashire and the South East since 2014.This powerful centenary event is made all the more poignant by its location in Brighton Dome, which served as an Indian Military Hospital during the war.
There will be a pre-performance talk about the creation of Trench Brothers with Julian Joseph, Richard Taylor and Tertia Sefton-Green. Tickets to the evening performance also give access to the pre-performance talk.
The acclaimed ‘imaginative and inspiring’ Trench Brothers project commemorating the contributions and personal stories of ethnic minority soldiers in the First World War will culminate in Brighton and the South East this year.
Award winning charity HMDT Music is working with Strike a Light – Arts and Heritage, to explore the stories of the impact the Indian Army Military Hospitals in Brighton and the British West Indies Regiment training camp in Seaford, East Sussex had on local communities at the time. We will undertake visits to The Keep archives, The Chattri, Seaford Museum and Newhaven Fort as well as interview Sussex residents who may have links with this theme.
These findings will be captured and showcased as part of the interactive Trench Brothers Exhibition being shown at Newhaven Fort from 4th August 2018, which features a creative response to the research as part of a bigger event.
The final strand is an education project involving eight local schools using puppetry, composition, artefacts, costumed interpreters and cross-curricular learning, leading to them performing a newly commissioned music theatre work by composers Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor and librettist Tertia Sefton-Green alongside jazz and opera singers, musicians and puppeteers at Brighton Dome on 17th October.
Find out more about this fascinating yet complex period of history and the result of these epic global changes affecting a small corner of Sussex.