Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Potent Monologue on a Stolen Life

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Potent Monologue on a Stolen Life

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lesley Watson

The Prisoner's Friend at The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle

THIS debut play by North-East playwright Peter Drake is certainly worth seeing if it tours - as well it might, in the autumn.

The one-act monologue, a difficult genre, had the audience riveted and reduced some to tears.

It raised important issues about the value of a soldier's life and was all the more poignant in the light of the recent war in Iraq.

The play tells the true story of a First World War soldier from Crook, County Durham, who was executed for cowardice.

Will Stones, aged 26, married with two children, had been commended for bravery, for his conduct during the Battle of the Somme.

But after an incident in battle, and despite remonstrations by his two commanding officers, he was put to death by firing squad after a 20-minute trial.

The episode is recalled in the play by Will Stones' commanding officer, now in his eighties, who has received a letter from Stones' grandson. …

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