One of our researchers Thom Jackson-Wood has written a short play based on the life, death and legacy of Edith Cavell (4th December 1865-12th October 1915), which has been shortlisted for the Herts & Essex Playwriting Festival 2019 “Write Here Write Now.” It will be performed at Hertford Theatre on Tuesday 19th February at 7.30pm as part of a showcase of new writing.
Thom researched Edith Cavell during our BRUSSELS AT DAWN project, which ran from 2013-2015, culminating in a commemoration on the centenary of her death on 12th October 2015 at St. Martin-In-The-Fields. Results of that project can be found here. EDITH CAVELL RESOUCES
Rather than tell a simple biopic, Thom has woven a modern-day storyline into the script, featuring Private Aaron Anderson, an angry disabled ex-soldier who now fights battles on Twitter, and is suspicious of everyone.
Thom says of the character “Aaron is a broken young man who has struggled to adapt to civilian life. Feeling forgotten and betrayed by his country, he tries to claim it back by campaigning to leave the EU. But beneath his rage, he is searching for an answer to give his life meaning. The life of Edith Cavell, her progressive attitude to all Europeans, and her selfless acts of bravery and her final words cause him to start rethinking his beliefs – that the world isn’t as black-and-white as he thought.”
Edith Cavell was a British nurse who pioneered modern nursing in Belgium from 1907-1915. When WWI broke out, she stayed in Brussels under German occupation to treat anyone regardless which side they were on in the conflict. However she was arrested by the German military on trumped-up charges on 10th June 1915 and she was imprisoned for ten weeks, then she was shot at dawn on 12th October 1915. Her final recorded words “Patriotism Is Not Enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone” inspired the title of the play.
“Write Here Write Now” is a playwriting competition organised by Contexture Theatre, an arts company based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.