Roslin men’s Hearts war play set to return to mark Armistice centenary

No Sales, Syndication or Archive ''A WAR OF TWO HALVES' Neil Hanna Photography
No Sales, Syndication or Archive ''A WAR OF TWO HALVES' Neil Hanna Photography

The WWI football production, which told the extraordinary tale of the Hearts players in McCrae’s Battalion, is to return following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Roslin men Bruce Strachan (director) and Tim Barrow (co-writer) are the men behind “A War Of Two Halves”, which was staged at Tynecastle Stadium in August.

The year is 1914. Edinburgh’s Heart of Midlothian Football Club have won 19 of 21 matches and stand on the brink of becoming Scottish league champions. In a remarkable show of comradeship and courage, 13 of their players volunteer to serve together in McCrae’s Battalion destined to fight in France.

This is their story; an evocative and dramatic journey through Tynecastle Park led by the players/soldiers in a unique site-specific performance. Follow The Hearts from the football fields of Gorgie to the battlefields of the Somme.

Now, to mark the Armistice centenary, the show will return to the home of Hearts for a special run from November 2-11. Director Bruce Strachan said: “We are greatly honoured to be returning to Tynecastle Park with this iconic story that is absolutely synonymous with Edinburgh and Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

“With November 2018 marking 100 years since the signing of the Armistice, it is a poignant time to share the remarkable story of ‘the bravest team’. Hearts fans will have heard of McCrae’s Battalion – this is another chance to really understand their story.

“For a wider audience, the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes view of a football stadium in a dramatic retelling of historical events will be a truly unique theatre experience.”

Heart of Midlothian Football Club welcomes audiences to their stadium, the historic Tynecastle Park.

Lianne Parry, head of heritage, Heart of Midlothian Football Club, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming back the cast of ‘A War of Two Halves’ to Tynecastle Park in November, following the incredible success of the show during the Fringe Festival. The run of the play dovetails perfectly with a series of commemorative events being planned by the club during the run up to, and on Remembrance Sunday to honour those who lost their lives during the conflict. Supporters, players and staff all saw the show take on particular poignancy as it comes to life in the very ground the team left in 1914, with action taking place throughout the stadium. Sensitively told and beautifully arranged, this is a unique performance that everyone should experience.”

The production is suitable for ages 12 and upwards. Fans of all football clubs are welcome. For tickets go to www.awaroftwohalves.com.