The 306: Dawn - 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW / Programme / The 306: Dawn

The 306: Dawn


Image credit: National Theatre of Scotland, The 306: Dawn by Christopher Bowen.

★★★★ an emotive tribute to the soldiers that history forgot

The Guardian

★★★★ a fitting remembrance

The Stage

In 2012, Gareth Williams and I were looking at all the planned memorials for the First World War. It felt like all the stories were about bravery and sacrifice and heroism – but what about those who failed to live up to this ideal? This story challenges what we think about the war and how we memorialise the dead.

Oliver Emanuel, writer

Between 1914 and 1918, many British soldiers were convicted of military offences, including cowardice, mutiny and desertion, and were executed. In 2006, 306 of them received posthumous pardons. Now a new series of plays brings their lives back into sharp focus, challenging our notions of patriotism, heroism and glory.

Written by playwright Oliver Emanuel and composer Gareth Williams, and directed by Laurie Sansom for the National Theatre of Scotland, The 306 is a trilogy of plays focusing on the lives and deaths of three soldiers: Joseph Byers, aged 17 from Glasgow; Harry Farr, a 25-year-old Londoner; and Joseph Willie Stones, a year younger from Durham. The trilogy explores the poignant true stories of these soldiers, the families and friends who lost their loved ones, and the century-long campaign to see them pardoned.

Dawn, part 1 of the trilogy, received its world premiere at a special dawn performance in May during the Perth Festival of the Arts. Parts 2 and 3 will follow in 2017 and 2018.

Presented by 14-18 NOW, National Theatre of Scotland and Perth Theatre, in association with Red Note Ensemble.

You May Also Like

The 306: Dusk

National Theatre of Scotland, Perth TheatreThe 306: Dusk

Perth, Scotland

Following the success of The 306: Dawn and Day, this compelling trilogy ends with a moving piece of music theatre about memory, friendship and betrayal.

Find Out More
SS Mendi Dancing The Death Drill

Isango Ensemble, Fred Khumalo SS Mendi Dancing The Death Drill


More than 600 South African volunteers drowned when the boat carrying them to war sank in 1917 –but this new play relaid the tale of one man who survived.

Find Out More

Iain Morrison and Dalziel + Scullion, Julie Fowlis and Duncan Chisholm Iolaire


Two new suites of Gaelic music marking 100 years since the sinking of HMY Iolaire killed 201 servicemen returning home after the war.

Find Out More
All The Hills And Vales Along

James MacMillanAll The Hills And Vales Along

Cumnock / London

A major new oratorio setting the words of war poet Charles Hamilton Sorley to music, performed in two distinct arrangements in Cumnock and London.

Find Out More