Corn Exchange, Dorchester

POETRY has never been more powerful as in this play which dramatises the real life friendship between World War One poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfreid Sassoon whose deeply felt emotions still resonate today.

The men meet while in hospital where they were undergoing traumatic stress therapy and their mutual anger over the waste and corruption of war brings them together as friends on a stark and uncompromising set.

The award winning drama by Stephen Macdonald springs to life with the different personalities of the men, played in this Welsh production by Owain Gwynn as Owen and Daniel Llewelyn Williams as Sassoon, both of whom are seriously convincing as battle-torn soldiers trying to make sense of their horrific experiences.

We see Sassoon helping his less sophisticated friend compose his new verses, including Owen’s most acclaimed poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth and throughout the play they each speak heartfelt lines from their works that are full of beauty and passion.

As the two men try in their own way to cope with their wartime trauma, Owen constantly writing letters to his beloved mother and Sassoon recalling his upmarket social life among his famous friends, they slowly reveal their fears for the future in this remarkable story that is a telling reminder of the brutal sacrifices made by an entire generation 100 years ago.