The life and death of a British martyr

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, what have we really learned?
12.10.15 tells two women’s stories, one hundred years apart, drawing parallels between their worlds.

This one-woman show, written by Clive Holland, tells the story of national heroine Edith Cavell through the eyes of a war-hardened and cynical 21st century journalist – in what could be her final moments – as she is held captive in a modern war zone.

Cavell, a brave, compassionate and pioneering nurse, was executed by firing squad on 12th October 1915 for helping allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, her story is revealed by a war hardened, weary and cynical contemporary female war correspondent.

The fictional journalist of the play reflects on what has happened in the century since Edith died. Could Cavell’s death have been avoided? Was she used as a propaganda tool by the British Government to polarise world opinion against the Germans? In the 21st century theatre of war, are aid workers, journalists and civilians murdered and martyred, as Cavell was, in the hope that a jaded world will listen?

Drawing surprising parallels between our modern journalist’s predicament as she recounts the story of a woman 100 years ago, also caught in the centre of male-dominated warfare. Martyrs or spies, traitors or freedom fighters: history is littered with the bodies of women used as propaganda.


Thought-provoking, engrossing...emotional – yet never sentimental

- The Stage

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This innovative and intelligent one-woman show is designed for contemporary theatre admirers; specifically those with an interest in the First World War, the female experience of hostility and modern perspectives on conflict.

Written by Clive Holland, directed by Mary Swan, performed by Mary Rose, designed by Sam Pine.

“There are a number of journalists doing incredible work to bring the truth about some of the most bitter conflicts of our time to the attention of the world. The relentless need to serve the truth and ensure that truth can be told has a synergy with Edith Cavell’s tenacious fight to save as many allied soldiers from the clutches of the Germans as possible.” – Mary Swan director of 12.10.15 and artistic director of Proteus.

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