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Talkin’ ‘bout my Regeneration – Pat Barker’s WWI novel comes to the stage

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Tim Delap (Sassoon) and Garmon Rhys (Wilfred Owen) © Manuel Harmon

I am making this statement as an action of willful defiance of military authority, because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.

– Siegfried Sassoon, July 1917

Pat Barker vividly captured the angst of the Lost Generation of the First World War in her Booker-nominated novel Regeneration set in Edinburgh’s Craiglockhart War Hospital in 1917, where army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating shell-shocked soldiers including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as the fictional mute, Billy Prior.

Tasked with rebuilding the shattered psyches of his wards so that they may return to the horrors of the front, Rivers finds himself increasingly torn between his duty as a physician and the morally indifferent demands of ‘the war to end all wars’.

From 30 September to 4 October Regeneration, the acclaimed stage adaption by Oliver Award-winning playwright Nicholas Wright, will be appearing at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh as part of its UK tour.

A co-production between the Touring Consortium Theatre Company and the Royal & Derngate Northhampton, Regeneration is directed by Simon Godwin and features Stephen Boxer (Captain Rivers), Christopher Brandon (Robert Graves), Garmon Rhys (Wilfred Owen), Tim Delap (Siegfried Sassoon) and Jack Monaghan (Billy Prior).

Coinciding with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Regeneration is both a compassionate and lucid – sometimes shockingly so – hymn to the doomed youth of the First World War.

Undoubtedly one of the outstanding theatrical events of 2014, don’t miss the chance to see this remarkable drama during its Edinburgh run.

Discover more about Scotland and the First World War and centenary-related events happening around the country. Or why not find out more about the lives of the patients and staff of Craiglockhart War Hospital during a visit to the War Poets Collection at Edinburgh Napier University?


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