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.
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.