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The Unknown Soldier

Don't, for God's sake, come back alive 'cause we don't want to see your ugly stumps and your ugly scars. We don't want to hear your midnight screams and tales of hell. We all got along nicely without you, thank you very much, and now you're back you remind us things we'd much rather forget. More convenient, ain't it? To have a dead hero. A dead hero don't have complaints. A dead hero don't even have a voice. Jack stayed on when the guns fells silent, to search the battlefields for the boys that could not go home - for the dead and the missing, for both enemy and friend. And amongst the rusty wire and unexploded bombs, Jack is looking for something - looking for someone. He has a promise to keep and debt to repay, and now there is this strange request from the generals. A story of comradeship, betrayal and of promises both broken and kept following the carnage of World War One from the acclaimed writer of Casualties, Ross Ericson. It received its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 before embarking on a UK tour.
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A story of comradeship, betrayal and of promises both broken and kept following the carnage of World War One

About the Author

Ross Ericson is an accomplished British actor and writer. His other plays include Casualties, an adaptation of Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones, Punchline, Life and The Autumn of Han.


Strong writing, an original approach and a sensitive performance bring fresh power to a reminder of the horrors of war * Stage * It's not about glory or futility, it's about the loyalty forged between friends . . . Ericson's writing is strong to give it vividness, and he does a good job of expressing a range of emotions, from despair to wry humour * Scotsman * [The Unknown Soldier] runs for around an hour and, during that time, I didn't feel for one moment that I was not in a bunker, in the trenches, sharing the mud with a body and soul tired soldier. Written and performed by Ross Ericson, I valued the direct style of a monologue in which the solo performer addresses a friend who is now beyond the grave, but also includes we, the audience in that narrative. This is a piece of direct, storytelling theatre, full of humour and tragedy . . . [It] is a very well written piece. It is full of detail, clearly and meticulously researched . . . I felt drawn in. I stayed drawn in. As I write this review . . . I think of my own grandfather (no longer with us) who fought in the Somme. I think of the fact there are soldiers in trenches in parts of our world right now, some of whom will die unknown. And I'm glad I shared an hour with such an accomplished writer and performer . . . We can learn from this story. It is both an exhibit from history and a lesson for the future. I shared the fear, portrayed so well by Ericson. I wouldn't want that for my kids. The Unknown Soldier remains with me. That's strong theatre. -- Paul Levy * Fringe Review * Passionate . . . written on a rising tide of emotion . . . There is a trace of Pinter in his handling of dialogue, while the increasingly insistent interrogation of Emma by Peter carries a whiff of J B Priestley's An Inspector Calls. * Daily Telegraph on "Casualties" * Infinitely more intense than anything I've seen on film . . . These scenes ring true. * Time Out on "Casualties" * Bristling with tension and squaddie humour, new four-hander Casualties in the exciting opening season at Park Theatre in Finsbury Park is a nail-biting exploration of this - but far more than a one-dimensional shoot-em-up . . . Ericson's message is unmistakeable - what these men (and women) do for a living goes unappreciated by their seniors, a waste of life which stretches beyond the frontline. Casualties . . . will easily leave you reeling. * Whatsonstage on "Casualties" *

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