One hundred years to the day since general military conscription passed into law in Great Britain, the courageous men who resisted the compulsory call to arms, and the women who supported them, are remembered in an evening of differing perspectives – through drama, song, and speakers with particular knowledge of the subject.
This Evil Thing, by Michael Mears, is a dramatic overview of the conscientious objectors’ struggle, and those who were instrumental in helping them – including Bertrand Russell, Fenner Brockway and Catherine Marshall – which will be performed in a semi-staged reading by professional actors.
Speakers will include Cyril Pearce, author of Comrades In Conscience, about conscientious objectors in Huddersfield, and creator of the Pearce Register of British First World War COs, (now incorporated in the Imperial War Museum’s online data platform ‘Lives Of The First World War’); Lois S. Bibbings, (University of Bristol) who has been researching and writing about WW1 COs since the 1990s, most notably in Telling Tales About Men; and Ben Copsey from the Peace Pledge Union.
Songs by the Helen Chadwick Song Theatre will include a specially composed setting of the words found on the International COs memorial in Tavistock Square; and there will be a display of posters by Emily Johns, celebrating key figures and events from the First World War anti-war movement.
This is a non-profit evening, and any surplus will go to the Peace Pledge Union and Amnesty International.
Concessions (over 60s, students, unwaged) £8