Meaning in the Mud: exploring the cultural legacy of The Great War

Roland & Natasha

This workshop looks at the way poets, dramatists, artists and novelists responded to the First World War 100 years ago, and how the legacy of that war continues even now to influence writing and other art forms like cinema.

The core of the workshop is the famous First World War poets, and the changes in style from the lyrical and conventional, like Rupert Brooke’s, to harsher and more experimental forms of writing like Wilfred Owen’s. We also look at the response of artists like CRW Nevinson and Paul Nash, the playwright Peter Whelan (The Accrington Pals) and the writer JRR Tolkein.

The workshop offers many opportunities for follow up and in particular provides an excellent starting point for an investigation with students of how this artistic response to the war has influenced writing and art ever since, from T.S Eliot’s The Wasteland, to plays like Waiting for Godot, novels like Catch 22, musicals like Oh What A Lovely War! films as different as Apocalypse NowThe Lord of the RingsWarhorse and the TV comedy Blackadder.

The style of this workshop allows a degree of flexibility in its content. So if there are any particular poems, novels, plays or films that you would like us to refer to in a performance in your school we would be very interested to discuss your ideas with you.

The workshop is suitable for Year  5 & 6, KS3 and KS4.

The presentation lasts between 75 and 90 minutes depending on the year group.

There are two versions depending on audience size:

An interactive presentation with lots of audience discussion and participation. Audience maximum of 100. 

  • Price £350 for one presentation; £250 for additional presentations.

A performance piece, but still retaining a significant level of interaction. No audience maximum. 

  • Price: £500 for one presentation; £400 for additional presentations.

All fees exclude VAT and travel costs outside the London area

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