Coinciding with the centenary of the First World War, The Return of the Soldier – an intimate new chamber musical by Tim Sanders (book and lyrics) and Charles Miller (composer) based on Rebecca West’s celebrated 1918 novel – will receive its world premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre from 2-20 September (press night is 4 September).
The intensely bitter-sweet tale dissects the very different love of three women for Captain Christopher Baldry. When Christopher returns from the war suffering from shell-shock, there are profound consequences for each of the women. As he tries to return to everyday life, he has to confront the traumas sustained through the stress of warfare. With a cast of five, this powerful new musical drama is an eloquent treatise on the nature of love, truth, memory and loss. In the end, only an extraordinary sacrifice will restore a fragile status quo.
This world premiere is directed by Charlotte Westenra (Venice Preserv’d, Sunset Baby, Celebrity 24 Hour Plays 2011 and 2010, Sixty-Six Books, and Lower Ninth). Writer Tim Sanders has enjoyed successes in television, radio and theatre and The Return of the Soldier represents his third collaboration with Charles Miller, described as one the most important modern day British composers. His musicals When Midnight Strikes and Brenda Bly: Teen Detective (both written with New York writer Kevin Hammonds) have become hits in Europe, America and Australia and his popular songs have been recorded by several West End and Broadway singers.
The Return of the Soldier is produced by Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment (recognised as one of the country’s most promising young producers by the Stage One charity for new producers) and Guy James (head of creative development at Access Artiste Management Ltd as well as executive music producer for MaKiNG Records and an associate film producer focusing on British writing). It was first presented as a reading at the From Page to Stage season of new musicals.