A court-martial — followed by an execution: not exactly promising ingredients for a musical. But Ross Clark’s new music drama Shot at Dawn turns out to be unexpectedly moving. On the outbreak of the first world war, Adam, a farm labourer, enlists in the army, despite being underage, and is later shot for cowardice; his sister Georgina fights to clear his name. That’s the plot in short.
With a minimum of props and a piano, nine actors manage to captivate and draw in the audience. How? Through the emotional charge generated by the words and music. It’s an evening that leaves you surreptitiously reaching for a handkerchief.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.