The commencement of World War 1, one hundred years ago, is respectfully marked with a heart-rending play by Mark James that has scooped 8 prestigious awards and is now available as a paperback performance script.
Dear Mother tells the poignant and emotional story of a young boy’s journey to adulthood as he finds himself inadvertently recruited and sent to the trenches of the front line. His evocative description of the loveless chaos he finds himself immersed in is told via letters to his mother.
It’s a short, four scene, one-act play with a simple set and perfect for school or local amateur dramatic players to put on, but equally impressive and satisfying as a stand alone read. The challenging monologues will push aspiring actors to achieve their best performances, as the scenes bring the audience to the edges of their seats and nudge them towards a box of tissues.
It has drawn glowing reviews from audiences, peers, acclaimed actors and award judges, including praise from members of the armed forces and the founder of the National Memorial Arboretum:
Mark takes the audience directly into the mind and experiences of a young man trying to tell his family what he’s witnessing and enduring. The lead character becomes not just any Tommy, but every man, not just an English soldier, but every combatant. At a time when we’re trying to understand, as well as recall the horrors of the Great War, one could do little better than to read or see Dear Mother.
David Childs CBE: Founder National Memorial Arboretum & Author
Mark James’ Great War vignettes succeed in creating a small window in time through which we witness the poignant story of a single life and its place in modern history; a keeper for the First World War library.
Ramon Tikaram: Actor ‘This Life’ ‘Game of Thrones’
A touching, well told story that brings to life the letters and feelings of a young boy growing up all too quickly, against the backdrop of war. This one-act play is able to produce a powerful three-dimensional tragedy, extremely well. All it requires is a simple, stark set and three passionate actors; lest we forget.
Robert B Windsor: Artistic Director Facing Tides Theatre
An ideal performance piece for schools marking the 100-year anniversary of the start of the Great War. Mark skillfully employs letters to convey his account of life on the front line. Live performances will invite audiences to appreciate it on an empathetic level as they ponder the anguish of being parted from their loved ones in a time of conflict.
Tracey West: Author and Broadcaster
Dear Mother is available to order directly from the publisher, from local independent and High Street book vendors, online and of course, from libraries everywhere.
Publication Date: March 2014
Published By: Magic Oxygen Publishing
Paperback £4.99 : ISBN 978-1-910094-08-2
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Review & Media:
High res images, electronic extracts from the play script and interviews with the author available from Simon West at Magic Oxygen Publishing.
About the Author
Mark James DipLCM began performing in 2005 and has been involved in all aspects of stage performance at both local theatre and professional performances. He has won awards for both his acting and writing.
Originally writing Dear Mother in 2011, Mark toured the play around theatres and local festivals in the South and South West for 2 years, playing the lead role of senior Thomas himself. Dear Mother was met with great enthusiasm from both audiences and festival adjudicators alike, winning many awards including Best Set (Woolstore Country Theatre All England One Act Play Festival 2011) Best Actor (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012) Best Play in Class (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012) and Best Overall Play of the Festival (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012).
When he’s not writing, Mark is a busy singing teacher and performer, gaining his Diploma in Musical Theatre in July 2013 through the London College of Music. He also owns and runs his own production company, JNX Productions, specialising in high quality performances using the best of new and local talent.
See www.MarkJamesPlays.co.uk for his blog and further details.