I already know the history of the absolutist conscientious objectors fairly well and Michael Mears’ play This Evil Thing is very accurate.
It covers the story of one of those conscientious objectors who was sent to France and there sentenced to death by court martial, Bert Brocklesby, with those around him and those, such as philosopher Bertrand Russell and suffragist Catherine Marshall, who campaigned for better treatment for the COs.
Where possible he uses the actual words of the people involved and where not he makes it clear it is conjecture. “I can just imagine the conversation…” and his conjecture is plausible and historically valid.
He plays some 52 people on stage with an energy that is almost exhausting to watch. Michael is an incredibly athletic and energetic performer and seeing him play the part of an emaciated prisoner is haunting. I had no idea a one person show could give such breadth of characterisation, but then I have not seen a one person show performed by an experienced professional actor before, let alone one with passion about the subject.
It is accurate, informative and thought-provoking.
He even followed the 80 minute performance with a Q&A discussion which, on this occasion, lasted at least 40 minutes.
That was a wonderful evening and if you can attend one I thoroughly recommend it.
Information on the writer and performer Michael Mears: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0575223/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisevilthing