The Return Of The Soldier

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The Return of the Soldier, by Charles Miller and Tim Sanders, is a musical adaptation of Rebecca West’s remarkable novella written at the end of World War One.

Set in Harrow during the summer of 1916, The Return of the Soldier is an intensely bitter-sweet tale, dissecting the very different love of three women for one man. When Christopher returns from the front, shell-shocked and with memory loss, there are profound consequences for all three women and their love. In the end, only an extraordinary sacrifice will restore the fragile status quo.

Composer Charles Miller puts a unique and contemporary twist on several English music styles from the period in his evocative score. Tim Sanders’ script aims to capture West’s sardonic and contemporary humour as well as her painfully accurate insights into human folly. This exciting new musical adaptation will bring a compelling story of war to a whole new generation.

Cast & Creatives

Naomi Slights —

Naomi trained at Bird College of Dance & Theatre Performance.

Theatre credits include: Marion in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour), Stephanie in Saturday Night Fever (Theatre Royal Bath, UK Tour & Royal Caribbean), Understudy June and Dance Captain in 20th Century Boy (UK Tour), Stand Up the Musical - Workshop (Floral Pavilion, Wirral), Mamma Mia (West End), Thank you for the Music (Hyde Park/BBC Radio 2), Women of Rock (Royal Albert Hall), The Ripper (New Players Theatre, London) and pantomimes: Belle in Beauty & the Beast (Nottingham) and Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty (Richmond)

Recording credits include: The Ripper (Cast Recording/Paul Herbert).

Television/Commercial credits include: Children in Need (BBC TV), She’s Amazing 2010 (O2/ SKY TV), Finish Dishwasher (Commercial).

Film credits include: Maxene in Captain America 'The First Avenger' - MARVEL (Directed by Joe Johnston/2011).

Other credits include: Sandy in Grease - Cinema Event (Abu Dhabi), Mamma Mia - Corporate Team (Indigo, O2 and events at Canary Wharf, Hatfield and Westfield).

Chris Jenkins —

West End and London Credits: Jonathan in tick tick…BOOM! (Park Theatre); Jake in The Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre); Nasa (U/S Voice of Humanity/Artilleryman) in War Of The Worlds (Dominion Theatre); Understudy Tony in Billy Elliot: The Musical (Victoria Palace); Understudy Galahad, Lancelot & Bedevere in Spamalot (Playhouse); Swing & Understudy Guy/Cassard in Emma Rice’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Gielgud); Larry Foreman in The Cradle Will Rock (Arcola Theatre); Callum in Super Alice Smith (Trafalgar Studios); Roméo et Juliette, Simon Boccanegra, Aida (Royal Opera House); Chess in Concert, The Beatles Philharmonic 50th Anniversary Tribute (Royal Albert Hall)

Other Theatre: Bobbie in The Arcadians  (Wilton’s Music Hall); Maximillian in Candide (Iford Arts); Prince Charming in Cinderella (Hackney Empire); Dick in Dick Whittington (Milton Keynes Theatre); Assistant Dance Captain/Swing in the Lincoln Center’s Tony Award winning production of South Pacific (Barbican/UK Tour); The Last Five Years (Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury); Moliere’s The Sicilian (Tour); Peter Pan (Liverpool Empire); Bobby Duval in World Premiere of Come Fly With Me, Prince Tarragon in Tickledom (Wales Millennium Centre); Demetrius/Fight Captain in A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Welsh Tour)

Workshops: Zelda: A Post-Modern Musical (The Other Palace); Glory Ride (Charing Cross Theatre); Here (Curve Theatre/The Other Palace); The Happy Prince (Maria Friedman/Drew McOnie/The Stable Musicals); Devil’s Advocate (Upstairs at the Gatehouse)

Films: Tim in Settled (Ruri James/Blotched Ink); Iwan in Loose Ends (Kim Strobl/Central Film School London)

Recordings: Billy Elliot Live (Universal/Working Title); Chess in Concert (Warner Music)

Marc Pickering —

Stage credits include An Incident at the Border and The Elephant Man for Trafalgar Studios, Merchant of Venice at the Arcola Theatre, The Toxic Avenger at Southwark Playhouse.

Previous Film and Television credits include: Sergeant Billings in The Deal(Hoofprint Productions); Reg Kray in The Krays: Dead Man Walking (Hereford Films); Pizza Delivery Guy in Josh (BBC 3); Enoch Thompson in Boardwalk Empire (HBO); Montparnasse in Les Miserables (Universal Pictures); Ippolito D'este in Borgia III (Canal+); Hereward in The Darkest Day (Tornado films); Brian in Homeboys (BBC One (Pilot)); Hugh in Which is Witch? (I Love Television); Danny in Kill Keith (Dead on arrival productions); Tommy in Cricklewood Greats (BBC 4); Randall in The Task (After Dark Films); Sam in I Want Candy (Ealing Studios); Leon in Fried Brain Sandwich (Sony Pictures (Pilot)); Kung Fu Brian  in Cashback (Ugly Duckling Productions); Henry in Queen of Shebas Pearls (Sweet Water Productions); Gaz in Calendar Girls (Buena Vista Films); Andrea Zane in Secret Passage (Delux Productions); R Wayne in Peter Kays Britain’s Got the Pop Factor (Channel 4); Sammy in Dalziel & Pascoe (BBC); Young Masbath in Sleepy Hollow (Paramount Pictures)

 Theatre credits include: Doctor Gloom in Bananaman (Southwark Playhouse); Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Wiltons Music Hall); White Dude in The Toxic Avenger (Southwark Playhouse); Fenton in As we Forgive Them (E.R.T company); Reiver in An Incident at the Border (Trafalgar Studios 2); Colin in The Glee Club (Hull Truck Tour); Eddie in Honeymoon Suite (Hull Truck); Solanio/Arragon in Merchant of Venice (Arcola); John Merrick in The Elephant Man (Trafalgar Studios); Private Whiticker in The Long & The Short & The Tall (The Pleasance); Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz(Royal & Derngate); Abanazar in Aladdin & Alderman in Dick Whittington (Milton Keynes)

Tessa Kadler —

Tessa began performing at a young age in Manchester, UK. Prior to her training, Tessa performed in a revival of Tell Me On A Sunday at the St James Theatre. She then went on to graduate from Guildford School of Acting in 2016.

Since graduating Tessa has appeared in productions such as Carousel at the London Coliseum and Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse. Tessa is delighted to be returning back to Manchester with the production of The Return of the Soldier at the Hope Mill Theatre.

Esme Sears —

Esme trained in acting at Drama Studio London and musical theatre at Associated Studios.

Recent credits include: ‘A Little Night Music’ and ‘The Crucible’ at Storyhouse Theatre in Chester, ‘Parade’ The Musical at Frogmore Paper Mill, Hairspray at Stoke Regent Theatre and she can be seen on ‘Sing: Ultimate A Capella’ with the group Gospel Essence.

Reviews of The Return Of The Soldier

What the press say

★★★★ "well-acted, brilliantly sung and wholly relevant depiction of the personal cost of war"

The Stage

★★★★★"absorbing and compelling personal drama"

The Reviews Hub

"With it’s powerful numbers the story is told brilliantly."


What the public say

So so moving! The best performance I have ever seen at The New Wolsey Theatre.

C Lewis

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