THE First World War is set to come to life for modern audiences at the Oxford Playhouse theatre this autumn.
To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War the theatre is hosting two new shows in November: Regeneration and War Poets.
Based on Pat Barker’s best-selling novel, Regeneration follows poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen in the psychiatric hospital Craiglockhart in Edinburgh.
Tim Delap, who is playing Sassoon, told the Oxford Mail: “It’s an exciting character to play, he’s really interesting.
“It’s quite daunting playing a historical character because there’s an awful lot written about him, but I’m loving it.”
He said: “It’s a very, very moving and touching piece and it works really well.
“As a true story that happened 100 years ago it’s part of that remembrance of the First World War.
“It deserves being told again as a piece of theatre.”
The novel was adapted to the stage by Nicholas Wright, who also adapted Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials in 2003.
Running from November 18 to November 22, as part of a national tour, the play is based on real events from 1917.
Regeneration is a co-production between the Touring Consortium Theatre Company and the Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton.
Mr Delap, 35, said: “The subject of shellshock and mental trauma from the war is really important.
“This story really focuses on how shellshock was seen and treated at Craiglockhart, which really changed the mental health profession.
“It affected so many soldiers and officers.
“The understanding of mental health and the methods of treating that were changed so much by the war.”
As well as Regeneration, the Playhouse is hosting War Poets: a live performance of war poetry.
The Live Canon ensemble will be reciting poetry from memory, featuring works by Sassoon and Owen, as well as Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas.
As well as First World War poetry, the performance – on November 21 – will include poems from the Crimea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
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