The Muddy Choir 2018

by Jesse Briton


Age Advice: 13+

Nominated for Best Play for Young Audiences, Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards 2015

It is November 1917 and the Third Battle of Ypres is lurching towards its bloody conclusion. Young soldiers Will, Robbie and Jumbo are thrust into a landscape starkly different to the playing fields and estates of their Sunderland home.

United by their childhood oath “nee killing, anly singing”, Robbie dreams their music will be a ticket away from the front, but attracting the attention of their commanding officers may prove more dangerous than bullets and gas.

The Muddy Choir tells the story of three soldiers serving with the Durham Light Infantry. Including traditional wartime songs, the play is about childhood friends growing up in unbearable circumstances and the humanising power of music.

The Centenary of the Armistice

In 2014, to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, Theatre Centre first toured The Muddy Choir to critical acclaim. Commissioned and produced by the company, it was nominated for The Best Play for Young Audiences at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards.

In 2018 Theatre Centre will tour The Muddy Choir once more to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.

Reviews and Feedback for The Muddy Choir (2014 – 15)

“Well-pitched for teenagers, this is a sensitive memorial to a generation of young men.” – The Stage

“Thought-provoking, blackly funny and deeply moving – in fact exactly how a play about the First World War ought to be written.” – Public Reviews

 “A truly gripping take on three ordinary mates thrown out in the open, with only their passion of singing not killing keeping them descending from the gore and insanity of the war.” – Year 11 Student

“I would consider Theatre Centre’s professionalism second to none… they did an excellent job of creating a different world. Most impressive.” – Drama Teacher

Running time: approx. 1 hour
Suitability: Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 | Ages 13+ | Years 8 to 13
Curriculum links: Drama and Performing Arts, English, History, Music

The Muddy Choir will be touring schools and venues throughout September – November 2018.

If you’re interested in The Muddy Choir visiting your school please email:

Tour Dates

LONDON – Redbridge Drama Centre – 13th September

OXFORD – The North Wall – 17th September

MAIDENHEAD – Norden Farm – 3rd October

WELLS – Little Theatre – 11th October

WORKINGTON – Carnegie Arts Centre – 30th October

DURHAM – Gala Theatre – 1st November


LONDON – National Army Museum – 7th, 8th, 10th November

CAMBRIDGE – Mumford Theatre – 20th November

"Profoundly moving and beautifully constructed... Jesse Briton has brought the war to life by examining the complex interplay of personal and military motivations that govern the lives of his three protagonists."

The Reviews Hub, 2014

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