A new First World War play, ‘Dear Chocolate Soldier. A docudrama based on the letters (1916-1918) of Bombardier Edwin Hassall’, presented by Historia Theatre Company, edited and arranged by Kate Glover and directed by Kenneth Michaels will tour from 31 May 2018.
On Wednesday 6 June, it will show at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO), Woodstock.
It is June 1916. A 6 year old girl, Joan Burbridge, watches as her father wraps up a packet of chocolate for the brave soldiers at the front. A thought strikes her: ‘How will the soldier know the chocolate is from me?’ Her father obligingly writes on the packet: ‘From Little Joan, Whiterock, Wadebridge, Cornwall’.
Six weeks letter, a green field envelope arrives, addressed to Little Joan. Inside is a letter, sent direct from the fighting at the Somme, by Bombardier Edwin Hassall of Leek, Staffordshire. The story of the letters, from ‘The Chocolate Soldier’ to Little Joan, takes us to Armistice, and is told movingly and amusingly, by three actors, in a cabaret style performance with poetry and popular songs from the period.