‘And your bright Promise, withered long and sped,
Is touched, stirs, rises, opens and grows sweet
And blossoms and is you, when you are dead.'
When twenty year old Charles Sorley was killed in action during the First World War, his devastated parents were left with only his letters and poems to remember him by. Using his extraordinary writings, together with music and songs from some of the greatest composers of the period, It Is Easy To Be Dead is a tender portrait of his brief life.
Inspired by the pity of war, and his experiences in Germany – where he was briefly imprisoned as an enemy alien – Sorley's poems are among the most ambivalent, profound and moving war poetry ever written, directly inspiring the grim disillusionment of later war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen.
It Is Easy To Be Dead received its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre in June 2016, where it was nominated for seven OffWestEnd Awards, and transferred to Trafalgar Studios in November 2016.
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