Review of 'Sam Sweeney's Made in The Great War'

The Great War is a brilliant story told by Hugh Lupton and music by Paul Sartin, Sam Sweeney and Andy Bell and Robert Harbon.

I found the story to be very inspiring, Hugh Lupton’s words were like pictures. He told the story in a clear and passionate way which kept you glued and fixated to him by the way he brought the words to life. He made you think how brave young men were back then and how they died fighting for their country.

This story focuses on a violin, but it’s the man behind the violin, Richard Howard, who started off as a stone mason, later becoming a musician in music hall helping to enlist volunteers to the war. Richard comes home and there is a letter saying that he has been conscripted to join the Duke of Wellington Regiment. At night he returns to his workshop and places bits of a violin together and stamps his name inside the violin.

The show is a mixture of music and story told in a way to emphasise the period of time. They tell of heroic deeds and fabled stories that ring true today.

Richard arrived in the trenches and managed to get through a lot of dangerous situations fighting Germans in the trenches and being caught up in many violent acts, yet it was being sent to dig a trench and looking over the top of it that killed him in the end as he was shot dead.

The story returns to England with his wife and child to a scene in Richard’s workshop with a man trying to buy the business. The man asks the little girl to take a keepsake in remembrance of her dad, and she decides to take the violin that her father had not yet completed with the stamp of his name inside. The man buying the shop puts the bits in a brown envelope and gives them to the daughter. The bits of the violin are then found in an auction where a violin collector buys the pieces and finally completes the violin. Then one day Sam Sweeney the violinist from Bellowhead sees the violin and decides to buy it for £3000. Sam then notices the stamp inside and he and his father decide to research the name and history of the owner and this became the idea for the show.

My favourite part of the show was the last scene, a glowing tribute to Richard’s violin as it is placed on his gravestone in Belgium. I found this part quite moving and highly emotional. I would one day love to visit the grave of the very brave young soldiers who lost their lives volunteering for their country.

Find out more about the show here

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