‘For God’s sake! This protest of yours – is it really worth losing your lives over?’
January 1916: Bert Brocklesby is a young schoolteacher, and preacher at his local Methodist church; Bertrand Russell is one of the greatest philosophers of his time. With the advent of military conscription their worlds are about to be turned upside down.
THIS EVIL THING is the compelling, shocking and inspiring story of the men who said no to war; a rarely told story involving a dizzying journey from a chapel in Yorkshire to the House of Commons; from an English country garden to a quarry in Aberdeen; from a cell in Richmond Castle to a firing squad in France.
‘18? You’re too young to have a conscience!’
With military conscription still in force in many countries today, and prisoners of conscience still languishing in jails, the questions posed by THIS EVIL THING are as relevant and urgent as they were one hundred years ago.
THIS EVIL THING
written and performed by Michael Mears
directed by Rosamunde Hutt
sound design by Mark Noble
set design by Mark Friend
lighting design by Zoe Spurr
Michael Mears – ‘The Fringe-First Award winning master of the one-man show’ (The List), portrays a gallery of characters from conscientious objectors to army generals, from Prime Ministers to world-famous mathematicians, with breath-taking physical and vocal dexterity, in a highly original piece of storytelling – using verbatim testimonies and interacting with an intricate soundscape.
THIS EVIL THING had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 where it received four star reviews and acclaim from audiences and press alike.
‘A moving and dynamic retelling of a hidden story’ (The List)
‘An inspirational and disturbing work’ – (Festmag)
‘This magnificent tour de force of acting – I urge you to see it’ (Scotsgay magazine)
‘A remarkable piece of writing and a stunning performance which reduced me to tears’ (Eileen Mahony, Edfringe Website)
‘Superb storytelling in every way. Michael Mears has crafted an extraordinary work and done true justice to the heroes he’s depicting here. This is the show to see.’ (Randall David Cook)
As well as two previous acclaimed solo plays (SOUP, about homelessness, and TOMORROW WE DO THE SKY, about factory canteen workers) Michael Mears has written and performed five specially commissioned solo plays for BBC Radio 4. Onstage, he has also performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre on numerous occasions, as well as in many regional theatres.
‘Michael Mears is that rare combination of fine writer and formidable actor.’ – Time Out
‘One exceptional man’ – The Observer
25 October 2017
The Bear Pit Theatre, Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU
75mins plus Post Show Talk with Michael Mears (no interval)