Remembrance Sunday: Actors to ‘wage peace’ in 24-hour theatre marathon

A non-stop 24-hour performance will see actors including Toby Jones and Miranda Richardson speak the words of 100 peace workers for Remembrance Sunday.

24 Hours of Peace has been created from interviews with community and charity workers, ex-Armed Forces personnel, religious leaders and former neo-Nazis.

It will be staged at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester from 11:02 GMT on Sunday.

The 24 professional actors also include Julie Hesmondhalgh and Liz Carr.

Hesmondhalgh is known for Broadchurch and Coronation Street, while Carr stars in Silent Witness. Don Warrington (Death In Paradise), Mina Anwar (The Thin Blue Line), Maggie Steed (EastEnders), Adjoa Andoh (Casualty) and Steffan Rhodri (Gavin & Stacey) will also take part, joined by a 24-strong community ensemble.

The marathon show has been put together by Neil Bartlett, former artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith theatre, who has spent three years interviewing people involved in working towards peace.

“I asked them all the simple question – what does this day, when we’re supposed to be reflecting on war and peace, what does this day mean to you?

“And out of those 100 completely different answers, I’ve created the text of this show.”

Bartlett travelled the UK interviewing figures including Nigel Bromage, who joined the far right at 15 and now helps people who want to leave; three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Scilla Elworthy; Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s chief negotiator in Northern Ireland; and “honour” abuse campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera.

He spoke to 16 former members of the Armed Forces; ex-IRA member Patrick Magee and Jo Berry, the daughter of one of his victims; an imam in Rochdale and a priest in Salford; an aid worker with experience in Somalia, South Sudan and Syria; and a community safety officer in Blackpool.

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