Sheffield University Drama Society

Regeneration

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Regeneration

Adapted from Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy
by Ian Gledhill

On 12th April members of SUDS took part in a rehearsed reading of Ian Gledhill’s adaptation of Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy. The group assembled for a first reading of the script on Thursday 10th April, Ian then allocated parts to everyone, and Saturday 12th was an all day workshop which began with discussing the text in the morning, progressed through blocking the whole play in the afternoon and ended with a “performance” in Studio One in the evening.

17 people took part, including Richard Carwardine, who was welcomed back for a rare appearance, and Paolo Cattaneo who was bravely taking part in his first venture for SUDS. Ian seemed to remain calm throughout, though with the rehearsed reading due to begin at 7.00, the clock was beginning to tick a little loudly as the blocking was finally completed just after 6.30! Richard Liddament provided an atmospheric soundtrack which helped to transform Studio One into the Western Front.

Galleries
View Rachael Parkes' gallery of rehearsed reading photos here
View Martin Liddament's gallery of rehearsed reading photos here
View Lynda Liddament's gallery of rehearsed reading photos here

The Play
Regeneration has three interlocking stories. The first is the encounter that took place in 1917 between Dr William Rivers and the poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Rivers was a psychologist and anthropologist whose pioneering work with shell-shock victims in the First World War used Freudian methods, encouraging soldiers to relive their memories and confront their fears rather than suppress them. In July 1917, Sassoon wrote to The Times criticising the Government’s handling of the war. As a serving officer he would expect to be court-martialled, but instead Sassoon was sent to Craiglockhart hospital in Edinburgh to be treated by Rivers.

The second story is another historic encounter. While at Craiglockhart, Sassoon met Wilfred Owen, an unpublished poet, who was being treated for shell-shock. Sassoon encouraged Owen to take war as his subject, and Owen’s poetry was transformed as a result.

Second Lieutenant Prior is the fictional subject of the third and most involved story. Severely traumatised by the war, he and Rivers are locked into a dilemma: Prior is under a duty to return to France, and Rivers knows he is under a duty to make Prior well enough to go back, to face further trauma and possible death.

The Music
Music is an integral part of Ian’s adaptation. Most of the pieces were written by composers who fought in the First World War, including George Butterworth and Ernest Farrar, both of whom were killed on the Western Front, and Ivor Gurney, who ended his days in a mental hospital.


The Cast
Rivers
Sassoon
Bryce
Huntley
Brock
Anderson
Sister Duffy
Prior
Telford
Owen
Towers
Logan
Betty
Madge
Lizzie
Sarah
Ada
Waitress
Soldier
Myra
Manning
Yealland
Nurse
Callan
Reverend Lindsey
Hallet
Potts
Major Hallet
Mrs Hallet
  Richard Carwardine
Graham Spearing
John Skevington
Ian Brownlee
Alan Irvine
Steven Carter
Corrynne Osborne
Jonathan Jones
Mick Connell
Peter Geary
Paolo Cattaneo
Robin Purshouse
Roni Brophy
Catherine Carter
Lynda Liddament
Naomi Deaville
Roni Brophy
Catherine Carter
Tim Jones
Catherine Carter
Robin Purshouse
Mick Connell
Lynda Liddament
Steven Carter
Ian Brownlee
Tim Jones
Paolo Cattaneo
Alan Irvine
Lynda Liddament