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JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN announces programme of post-show talks

Johhny Got His GunThe UK premiere run of Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun will include a programme of post-show talks, on subjects including medicine during World War I, how we should remember the Great War, and the play’s relevance to World War II, as well as a Q and A session with the cast and creative team

Speakers will include Dr Catherine Gainty (Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Kings College, London), Dr Will Kaufman (Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Central Lancashire) and the Stop The War Coalition.

Johnny Got His Gun begins previews at the Southwark Playhouse on 21 May 2014, running until 14th June 2014.

The talks will take place immediately after the show, in the theatre. Admission will be free with a ticket to that evening’s performance.

Full programme of post-show talks:
Saturday 24th May (evening performance)
‘How Should We Remember The First World War?’
Hosted by Stop the War Coalition
Thursday 29th May
‘This play is not about the First World War: Johnny Got His Gun and the politics of World War Two’
Will Kaufman PhD FRSA FHEA
Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Central Lancashire
Wednesday 4th June
Post-show talk with the cast and the creative team
Thursday 11th June
‘American Medicine at War’
Dr Catherine Gainty
Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Kings College, London

Directed by David Mercatali (Tender Napalm, Black Jesus, Dark Vanilla Jungle), and starring Jack Holden (War Horse, Minotaur) as injured soldier Joe Bonham, Johnny Got His Gun is a powerful play about war, its perpetrators and its victims, adapted for the stage by Bradley Rand Smith from the 1939 book by the American novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus, Roman Holiday).

Always here the same people willing to sacrifice somebody else’s life. But it’s time two people had a say in things: us little guys and the dead.

When the call came, idealistic Joe Bonham eagerly volunteered for the trenches of World War One. Now he has paid a price he never expected, and far away from his American homeland he struggles to come to terms with what his world has become. As his grip on reality becomes ever more tenuous he reflects on the true nature of war and the choices he made.

Adapted for the stage by Bradley Rand Smith, Johnny Got His Gun won an Obie-award for Jeff Daniels when it premiered on Broadway in 1983. The book has also been filmed twice, with Timothy Bottoms in 1971, and Benjamin McKenzie in 2008.

Dalton Trumbo (1905 – 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist. He won two Academy Awards®, for his screenplays for The Brave One and Roman Holiday. He was blacklisted in 1947 by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for being a suspected Communist. His many credits as screenwriter include Spartacus, Exodus and Papillon. In January 2014 it was reported that Steven Spielberg would begin filming Trumbo’s script for Montezuma, starring Javier Bardem. A film of Trumbo’s life, starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), begins filming this year.

Supported by the Stage One Bursary for New Producers. Metal Rabbit productions in association with Southwark Playhouse presents the UK premiere of Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun.

Directed by David Mercatali
Starring Jack Holden
Wed 21st May to Sat 14th June 2014
Previews from Wed 21 May 2014
Press night Fri 23 May 2014
The Little, Southwark Playhouse
77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD
Box office 020 7404 0234

Wednesday 9th April 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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