The 306: Dusk is the concluding part of Oliver Emanuel and Gareth William’s powerful and profound First World War trilogy, following the heart-breaking true story of the 306 men executed for cowardice and desertion during the conflict and the devastating consequences for those they left behind. The 306: Dusk is a collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland, Perth Theatre and 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War centenary, and will open in the newly restored and redeveloped Perth Theatre in October 2018.
The 306: Dusk is co-commissioned with 14-18 NOW and is the concluding part of The 306 Trilogy. The first part, The 306: Dawn, which premiered in the summer of 2016, was set around the events of the Battle of the Somme, marking the centenary of the Somme Offensive, and followed the story of three of the condemned soldiers.
The second part, The 306: Day, premiered in Perth’s historic Station Hotel in 2017, and charted the struggles of the women and families left behind on the home front, as well as their fight to be heard over the clamour of conflict. Both 306: Dawn and 306: Day were co-produced with Perth Theatre and co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW. The 306 trilogy is supported by the Gannochy Trust.
The 306: Dusk brings the trilogy into the modern day, exploring the depth of feeling around the First World War a century on from its conclusion, and how the spectre of trauma continues to haunt soldiers in the modern day.
It is Armistice Day, 2018, and the shadow of the Great War still looms large in the memory. A school teacher on a trip to the battlefield cemeteries gets lost while searching for a particular grave. An injured veteran of the Iraq war relives the nightmare of his own battles. A blindfolded soldier wakes up after 100 years to hear the birds singing once more.
Set in the Delville Woods, one of the First World War’s bloodiest battlefields, the crossed paths of these three disparate characters will explore the modern day parallels of conflict and trauma, and how the effects of the Great War still echo into the modern day.
The 306: Dusk continues the collaboration between playwright Oliver Emanuel and composer Gareth Williams, and they are joined for this concluding chapter by director Wils Wilson. The show will draw upon real stories both past and present, and will feature a musical score performed live by a group of classical musicians.
Ryan Fletcher, who featured in the original cast of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, as well as in productions such as Beautiful Burnout (2012) and The Driver’s Seat (2015), will be joining the company in the role of Keith, a retired soldier.
Sarah Kameela Impey joins the company in the role of Rachel, a young teacher from London, while Danny Hughes will play Private Louis Harris, the last British soldier to be shot at dawn in the final days of the War. Both will be making their National Theatre of Scotland debuts in the production.
Oliver Emanuel’s work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Dragon (winner, Best Production for Families, UK Theatre Awards 2014) and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name. Gareth Williams’ compositions have featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, St. Magnus Festival, Sound Festival, 5:15, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Sonorities, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival. Wils Wilson is one of the UK’s leading cross-art form directors, whose previous work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Ignition and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.