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The Conquering Hero

Image of troops before the Battle of the Canal du Nord 27 September 1918

The Battle of the Canal du Nord, 27 September 1918

Press release issued: 4 September 2014

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and the University of Bristol are delighted to announce a co-production in commemoration of the outbreak of WW1: A fully staged, 'script-in-hand' performance of The Conquering Hero by Allan Monkhouse, Monday 6 October - Sunday 12 October.

Allan Monkhouse, Harold Brighouse and Stanley Houghton formed the influential Manchester School of realist playwrights early last century. The Conquering Hero, written in 1923, examines the dilemma of an upper class writer and pacifist who is persuaded - or bullied - into enlisting by his military family. His body survives but his mind is shattered by the experience. Unjustly obscured in the shadow of R. C. Sherriff’s popular Journey’s End it is an assured and powerful drama that we are delighted to present in this centenary year.

The co-production is planned as the first of a developing programme of such collaborations in the coming years. The event is in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas.

Andrew Hilton, Artistic Director Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory said: "The Conquering Hero is one of the finest plays about the 1st World War and was written in its aftermath by the Manchester playwright, Allan Monkhouse. At the outbreak of war a writer, son to a military family, believes his role is to go on writing; he loathes the war and the jingoism surrounding it and is determined that civilisation should not be put on hold while vast armies slug it out in France and Flanders. But family pressure forces him to the front. His body survives - and he is welcomed home as ‘the conquering hero’ - but his experience has been very, very different."

David Alder, Director of Communications at the University of Bristol said: "This production marks what we hope will be a continuing and growing relationship with SATTF for the benefit of our students and the city more widely."

The production includes members of the Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory company - Julia Hills, Roland Oliver, Saskia Portway, Piers Wehner, David Collins and Jack Bannell. The production will be directed in-the-round by SATTF Artistic Director Andrew Hilton in the Edwardian splendour of the University of Bristol’s Reception Room in the Wills Memorial Building.

A post-show talk and discussion will take place after the final performance on Sunday 12 October 6.00-7.00pm, chaired by Andrew Kelly Director of the Bristol Festival of Ideas.

Further contributors include:
Andrew Hilton - Artistic Director, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory,
Tom Beaumont - Teaching fellow, Department of History, University of Bristol. 
Nick Nourse - Post-doctoral research fellow at University of Bristol.

BOOK TICKETS (Via Tobacco Factory Theatres Box Office): 0117 902 0344
or/ online:    /


Monday 6th - Saturday 11th Oct   7.30pm                                                


Wednesday 8th Oct   2.30pm
(School groups tickets £6 -applies to Wed 8th Oct matinee only)                                                                              
Saturday 11th Oct         3.00pm      

Sunday 12th Oct            3.00pm

Sunday 12th October - 6.00pm - 7.00pm

This will follow the final performance of the play (3.00pm - 5.15pm).


The Conquering Hero – All performances £12
Standing tickets available for each performance £5 (Limited numbers)

Festival of Ideas Post-show Talk - £5


Purchase a ticket for any performance of The Conquering Hero AND a ticket for the Festival of Ideas post-show discussion on Sunday 12th October for just £15


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