Commemorating 100 Years since The Great War
The Tree of War began life as a “musical concert with scenes,” as the writers came up with ideas for various events that could fittingly commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Great War. Set in Burnage, Manchester between 1914-1918, this musical evening was to follow the story of a Mother who’s son had gone to war and, some 60 years later, a young girl struggling to comprehend the Falklands war and how their stories connected.
As other characters started to appear, including eventual leads Bert and Greville, it very quickly became clear that there was so much more of a story to be told about these people and their legacy. Before long, the writers had written not a concert with scenes, but a short, one-act musical show that transported the audience back in time through familiar wartime music and hymns and introduced us to these new characters through 7 original songs. September soon arrived and a talented amateur cast and crew presented the commemorative piece in spectacular style to hundreds of people across 3 sold-out performances at St. Nicholas Church, Burnage – which sits at the heart of the very town in which the show is set. More information about this preview production can be found here.
But, when it seemed all was said and done, Oliver Mills and Rachel Mann had far more up their sleeves. Between September 2014 and March 2015, the show was developed and expanded into a full two-act stage musical, complete with a now entirely original score of 30+ musical numbers. The original preview cast returned to partake in a workshop of the new script in December 2014 and the full musical premiered in Burnage, Manchester with a full 7-performance run from 15th – 19th September 2015.