SHOCKS: A Theatrical Requiem

The causes and effects of the trauma wrongly called ‘shellshock’ during WW1, explored through a new piece of theatre

During the course of WW1 the Victorian stiff upper lip began to quiver - uncontrollably. The misnomer ‘shell shock’ was used to describe the condition of thousands of soldiers - on both sides - who came out of the trenches and battlefields suffering not only physical wounds but emotional and psychological ones. This large-scale performance looks at male hysteria as a psychophysical protest at the pressure to fight, kill and maim in horrific conditions of warfare.

An actor, dancer, soprano, live string quartet and chorus perform this new work in which Anna Furse explores the causes and affects of war trauma, bringing in the voice of both the ‘shell shocked’ war poet, Wilfred Owen, and the pioneering doctor W.H.R Rivers, who substituted the barbaric practices of rehabilitation at the time with talking therapy. Sited at Craiglockhart, former asylum for WW1 patients, including, famously, the poets Owen and Siegried Sassoon, this event is a theatrical requiem that laments how battle takes a boy and births a broken warrior. 

A new work
conceived, written and directed by ANNA FURSE

In collaboration with
MATTHEW WERNHAM and DIOGO ANDRE Performers
KEN DEMPSTER Musical composition
TINA GONZALEZ Videographer
GEORGE TARBUCK Lighting Dsign
KAROLINA ANUSZKIEWICZ Costume Dsign
SUSAN MARTIN Production Management

and students, graduates and staff of EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY, QUEEN MARGARET UNIVERSITY and the EDINBURGH LIGHTING AND SOUND SCHOOL

Among the special features of the performance will be the Craiglockhart Sycamore String Quartet, made by local Luthier Steve Burnett from the branch of a sycamore that still grows in the Craiglockhart grounds: An Envoy For Peace & Reconciliation Through The Power Of Music.

SHOCKS will be performed twice in Craiglockhart Chapel on Sunday 18 November to commemorate Armistice. Shows will commence at 4.30pm and 7.30pm respectively. 

Craiglockhart Chapel

Edinburgh Napier University
Glenlockhart Road
Edinburgh
EH14 1DJ