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A tale from the theatre of war


12 December 2017

A tale from the theatre of war

A tale from the theatre of war

Bringing a World War I battlefield to the stage is at the heart of teenager Ben Francis’s latest production.

After learning allied and German soldiers on the Western Front briefly put down their arms to celebrate Christmas in 1914, his theatre company, Promise Adelaide, was inspired to share the story. His latest show, All is Calm, is about the Christmas truce when soldiers put aside their differences to eat, drink, be merry.

“I actually went to Gallipoli on the Spirit of Anzac prize in 2015 ... and that is when I really fell in love with history,” Francis, 18, of Craigburn Farm, says.

“I thought that it would be cool to get my two loves – history and theatre – and merge them together and tell this story.

“(The production) shows how such a beautiful moment could come out of those hard times.”

Francis started the youth theatre group in 2014 while he was a Year 9 student at Scotch College to give young performers more opportunities.

His company raises money for a charity during each show and, so far, he has donated at least $19,000 to organisations including The Cancer Council.

Francis hopes the play, which is making its Australian debut, touches audiences.

“I think the main message is that everyone can love,” he says.

All is Calm is at the Goodwood Institute, 166 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood, December 21-23. Cost: From $20. Tickets and details:

Original article by Celeste Villani appeared in Southern Times Messenger, 13 December 2017. Photo: AAP/Dean Martin


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