BORN in Gloucestershire in 1888, F.W. Harvey became one of England’s most popular war poets, writing much of his work during the Great War.

To mark the centenary of the start of World War 1 and the launch of a year long project Gloucestershire Remembers World War 1, the Everyman Theatre presents a dramatisation of Harvey’s lost novel Will Harvey’s War, specially adapted by the Everyman’s Creative Director, Paul Milton, who is also directing the play.

The Everyman’s professional company of actors will appear alongside local performers and musicians, from The Cheltenham Silver Band to members of the Everyvoice choir, to create this epic tale of Gloucestershire, the battle of the Somme and a final attempt at escape through the countryside of Westphalia.

This production marks the official launch of Gloucestershire Remembers World War 1 – an exciting programme of work presented by the Everyman Theatre, The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, The History Press, Gloucestershire Archives and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, which will reach out to schools and communities throughout the county.

In conjunction with the play, there will be a reading of World War One Poetry in Matcham’s Bar on Thursday, July 31 at 6pm by Jennie Farley and Eley Furrell, followed by audience participation, using letters, photographs and music of the time.

There is also a Pre-Show Talk on Friday 1st August at 6.30pm by the F.W. Harvey Society about Harvey’s real war, given by Roger Deeks (Chair of the F.W. Harvey Society) and Grant Repshire (University of Exeter and Gloucestershire Archives). Tickets are free but must be booked through the box office in advance.

Will Harvey’s war takes place at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, from Wednesday, July 30 to Saturday, August 2.