It's November 1917 and the Third Battle of Ypres is lurching towards its bloody conclusion. Young soldiers Will, Robbie and Jumbo are thrust into a landscape starkly different to the playing fields and estates of their Sunderland home. When the trio's singing causes a disturbance up the line, they face unwelcome attention from their commanding officers. Is music their ticket away from the front, as Robbie dreams, or will the passion it brings about prove more dangerous than bullets and gas?
The Muddy Choir is a story about boys growing up and the humanising power of music. The play, which includes period songs, tells the story of three young boys serving with the Durham Light Infantry in 1917.
Marking the centenary of the First World War, Jesse Briton's The Muddy Choir was first performed in a UK tour in 2014 produced by Theatre Centre.
Jesse Briton grew up in Somerset and trained on East 15 Acting School's Contemporary Theatre course under Uri Roodner. His work as an actor has included performances at Bristol Old Vic, Finborough Theatre and the ICA. As founder and artistic director of Bear Trap Theatre Company, he has written and directed two original works for the company, Bound and Enduring Song, and directed a third, Hiraeth. Commissioned work includes Movere for Curious Directive. Bound is his first play, and in 2011 he was nominated for the Evening Standard's Most Promising Playwright Award. Alongside his performance work he regularly teaches in Somerset and London, and is a visiting director at East 15 Acting School.