“An Honest Soldier never is forgot,
Whether he die by Musket or by Pot.”
Summer 1918. Bill Wilson, an American soldier, is billeted in Winchester on his way to fight in the war in France. An encounter in Winchester Cathedral eventually draws him to a new way of life. And on his safe return to the USA, Bill becomes one of the two original founding members of a worldwide organisation – Alcoholics Anonymous.
"An Honest Soldier" is a new play for voices that includes music and poetry from the First World War, with extracts from the writings of Bill Wilson and Lois Wilson, speeches by Rudyard Kipling, and other contemporary accounts.
The unique setting for this world premiere is the Lady Chapel in Winchester Cathedral, and it was the discovery by Bill of an old gravestone in the Cathedral grounds which prompted a powerful revelation about his future.
Devised by local playwright, Philip Glassborow, and presented by 2TimeTheatre, the cast of three is drawn from Winchester and the surrounding area. It includes ex-Symonds student Josh Henderson who plays Bill Wilson... renowned local professional actress, Ros Liddiard (Lois Wilson)... and Philip Bird (Kipling) who has worked extensively in the West End, The Globe and Chichester Festival Theatre. Philip last performed in Winchester Cathedral when he was a pupil at Pilgrims!
Musical Director Robert Sword comes from Alton and contributes his beautiful setting of "My Boy Jack" (the Kipling poem) alongside classic music from World War I.
This production has been made possible with the generous support of an anonymous donor and Winchester City Council’s Cultural Innovation Grant Scheme.
There will be two Winchester Festival performances in Winchester Cathedral:
Sunday 8th July at 2.00 pm and Monday 9th July at 3.00 pm. Tickets are £10 plus booking fee and are available from the Festival website: www.winchesterfestival.co.uk or by calling Winchester Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275.