The Tree Of More

19 Sep


It’s been quite a week.  We spent all of Saturday afternoon at The Tree of War rehearsal, filming and photographing background stuff.   Monday evening we were at the press preview; the show opened on Tuesday.  It is phenomenal.  

I can’t tell you how good this new piece of theatre is: the music, the lyrics, the story.  And to see it acted and sung with such passion and enthusiasm; to hear the wonderful music from the live band; to come out crying after every single performance…there is no one involved in this production who doesn’t believe that it is something special, something above the ordinary.

One of the most consistent comments – though you heard it here first, last year – is that it belongs on a West End stage.  As I stand behind my camera each night and listen to the audience as they file out, many sobbing into their snotty tissues – men and women – I hear them saying it over and over.  People with no connection to the show rave about it; and they are right to do so.


Some reviews, personal and professional:

Ollie Mills’ and Rachel Mann’s masterpiece is beautifully poignant, thought-provoking and utterly authentic.

Chris Oatway, North West End

Scottish hard man Dougie (Jamie Rahman) gives a sweet rendition of ‘Being A Lad,’ and it’s a stony individual indeed who won’t be moved to tears (as I was) by the heartbreaking climax.    4 *

  Philip Caveney, Bouquets & Brickbats

I thought Alex really brought out the personal, but also universal, pain and intensity of the WWI horrors. As the show progressed, he displayed real pathos – having been excellent too in the earlier, happier, scenes. I thought both he and Sam made very strong leads. But then I felt the whole cast was strikingly good – having, I judge, been brilliantly prepared by [Ollie].   

A personal email to Paul from Roderic Dunnett, a professional reviewer, whose official review will be out shortly

Comments left on the official The Tree of War Facebook page:

Went to see one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen today! Well done to all the Cast and Crew of The Tree of War you were AMAZING! You completely reduced me to tears.

Amazing piece of theatre! Really powerful.

Just got back from watching The Tree of War what a fantastic play each and every cast member played a brilliant part, it should go on TV or all around the country, well done to all of you, it was just brilliant.

It was, quite simply, one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve seen. Oliver Mills’ score is brilliant and if he and Rachel Mann don’t make a cd I shall be really disappointed. The cast were all fantastic. Sam Gilliatt and Alex Cosgriff in particular. Remember Alex’s name. He’ll be winning Olivier awards one day. I don’t know if they have any tickets left, but if they do and you’re free, go!

Ollie Mills’ music was quite amazing.

If you live in the area, today is your last chance to see it.  There are a few tickets left for the matinée and evening and they are on special offer at £5 each on the door.  But booking online will guarantee you a seat.

Trust me: go if you can.  If you don’t, you will always regret missing the start of something big.

20 Responses to “The Tree Of More”

  1. Al September 19, 2015 at 11:57 #

    Told ya!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sharechair September 19, 2015 at 12:03 #

    How WONDERFUL!! I wish wish wish I was there to see it. If it’s still playing next summer…….. 🙂
    Remember, I have his room ready when he makes he debut on Broadway! (seriously!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. September 19, 2015 at 14:23 #

    I think I get the message! I’ll get the CD when it comes out.


  4. slpmartin September 19, 2015 at 15:02 #

    Sounds like a wonderful production…ah if they ever go on the road perhaps I’ll be able to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. McGuffy Ann September 19, 2015 at 15:28 #

    I seriously hope this makes it onto film so all of us can see it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hattie September 19, 2015 at 21:57 #

    I’m so jealous. Congratulations on this success!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. beeblu September 20, 2015 at 01:38 #

    Congrats, Alex!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karen Snyder September 20, 2015 at 03:39 #

    Congratulations to your Alex, and to all the cast!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. laurieanichols September 20, 2015 at 03:55 #

    Congratulations to Alex and the troupe!!! I know exactly how you and the Hub feel, we have our musician and it is wonderful to see him dive into his creativity, just like Alex. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jmgoyder September 20, 2015 at 13:06 #


    Liked by 1 person

  11. judyt54 September 22, 2015 at 21:50 #

    The best part in all of this, and I know you can be detached enough (oh yeah, right) to appreciate it–we are all proud to the point of pain over this, and Alex and the play–but to have people who don’t even know him look up from their program notes and say, “Oi, what’s THIS now? He’s amazing” well, that has to be about as good as it gets.

    What I love is the way you’ve not only encouraged him, you’ve let him pick his own path. Not every stage mother does that. It becomes HER career, not his. This is so cool…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Laughing Housewife September 28, 2015 at 11:54 #

      *Blush* To be fair, he’s wanted this since he was four and played The Very Hungry Caterpillar; though there was a three-year hiatus when he discovered rugby and it clashed with drama club. But we knew he’d come back to it; he’s born for it.

      He had post-show blues but he’s back at uni and he’s already auditioned for his next venture.


  12. Elaine - I used to be indecisive September 23, 2015 at 08:28 #

    How wonderful to get such reviews! Well done to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rorybore September 25, 2015 at 04:34 #

    Such wonderful news!!! So happy for you and Alex!!! Way to go – what a great review.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The Tree Of War – September 2015 | St Nicholas Church – Burnage - October 13, 2015

    […] The Tree Of More Chris Oatway – North West End Philip Caveney – Bouquets and Brickbats […]


  2. I’m On The Telly (Sort Of) | The Laughing Housewife - November 4, 2016

    […] I joined a community choir this year, run by the wonderfully talented Ollie Mills, who composed The Tree of War?  He was commissioned to do the arrangement for this year’s Toys R Us Christmas advert, and […]


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