Day 75 - A bus journey into the past: The 306: Dawn

Playwright Oliver Emanuel introduces his extraordinary 306 Trilogy co-written with the composer Gareth Williams, which the National Theatre of Scotland and Perth Theatre bought to life over three consecutive years as part of 14-18Now.

Like all great ideas, The 306 Trilogy started in a pub. Composer Gareth Williams and I had met while working on a small project about the end of the world (or the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012) and had got to talking about the First World War. We asked ourselves the question: how would we have behaved in that unimaginable and terrifying conflict? Cut to 4 years later and we are on a bus with 50 strangers, heading to a barn to see the premier of our new musical theatre piece, The 306: Dawn, about the 306 men who were executed for cowardice, desertion and mutiny by the British Army in the First World War. It was unlike any theatre experience I’ve ever had, somewhere between theatre and opera, stage show and memorial. I hope we created something worthy of their memory.

Here is a clip from that amazing performance at dawn that opened the first part of the Triology: .

The 306: Dawn credit Manuel Harlen

Oliver Emanuel is an internationally award-winning playwright based on the west coast of Scotland. He has written over 30 plays for the stage and radio and set up the MLitt in Playwriting and Screenwriting at the University of St Andrews with Zinnie Harris.

Photo by Euan Carey

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