Set during the first years of the conflict, this poignant dark comedy follows the story of two innocent and enthusiastic men who volunteer their services to Britain after Kitchener’s call for a New Army. Their experience of life on the Western Front is a stark contrast to what was promised by the officers signing them up:
“Back before Christmas, they said.”
The two friends (who are also brothers-in-law) do their best to keep each other’s spirits up, with bawdy humour, trenchant sarcasm and a camaraderie that only comes from knowing one another for years. Letters from home are not always a joy to receive.
Despite the fiction, this story’s background is firmly based in reality as battalions of ‘Pals’ were really formed from groups of friends and work-mates, and they fought together just as they do in the play. The transition from being caught up in the propaganda machine which promised glory and honour, to the reality of their situation (rats, lice and all), takes you on an unforgettable and gripping journey.