Thomas James Brook is an ordinary boy at the turn of the 20th Century. His innocence of youth is shown in the letters that he sends his Mother, during a holiday with extended family in Weymouth. They reveal how a chance meeting, the sight of a mysterious man and how games he plays, form his perceptions of the future.
Fast forward seven years and Thomas finds himself on the dock of Le Havre preparing for his journey to the front line of the Great War in 1915. Continuing to write to his beloved Mother, he tries to console her with his reasons for joining up early and shares his expectation and optimism for the future months, along with some of the sights and sounds that he encounters along the way.
After a long, harsh struggle, dug down for many months in the trenches of the Somme, frustration shows, the pain of loss is clear and Thomas’ innocence dissipates. The endless rows of muddy gullies, the constant fear of attack, the reckless attitude of the commanding forces and the loss of a childhood friend, leave a broken Thomas just wanting to be back home.
Dear Mother has been well researched and uses many first-hand accounts and experiences. It is performed on a simple stage with minimum set design over one act. The impact of the story is portrayed through the characters, requiring them to show a huge range of emotions from joy and playfulness, to heartbreak and pure fear. It offers actors a real challenge but one that will impact the audience greatly.