Rave reviews for WW1 musical directed by Oliver Mills (OS 2012)

Tree of War

Current and former Stockport Grammar School pupils collaborated to give an outstanding production of new WWI musical ‘The Tree of War’.  The production was co-written and directed by Old Stopfordian and emerging composer, Oliver Mills (2012), to commemorate 100 years since the First World War.

‘The Tree of War’, premiered at St. Nicholas’ Church in Manchester between 15th and 19th September and featured a 22-strong cast of singers and actors including many current and former pupils from Stockport Grammar School. Cast members included:

Alex Cosgriff (OS 2014) as Bert Trott

Sam Gilliatt (OS 2014) as Greville Harcourt

Maddie Corcoran (current pupil) as Anna Lakeman

Tom Fawcett (OS 2013) as Alf Barber

Alex Pollard (current pupil) as Davey Greybridge

Jamie Rahman (OS 2013) as Dougie McBride

Will Spence (OS 2014) as Harry Cooper

Georgia Curwen (current pupil) as Mavis Longsight / Ensemble

Hannah Goldsby (OS 2012) as Dorothy Appleton / Ensemble

Eilidh Pollard (OS 2015) as Vera Edgeley / Dancer / Ensemble

Emily Richardson (OS 2015) as Alice Turnbull / Ensemble

Alex Curwen (current pupil) as Tommy Longsight / Ensemble

Sam Holmes (OS 2011) as Musical Director

Hannah Clayton (OS 2015) – Music

Steve Dickie (OS 2012) – Music

Lorna Cole (OS 2012) – Assistant Producer

Amber Reece-Greenhalgh (OS 2015) – Prop Master / Rehearsal Stage Manager

Richard Almond (current pupil) – Lighting

Adam Musa (OS 2015) – Lighting

Jess Hadfield (OS 2012) – Tree Design

Kate Mitchell (OS 2012) – Tree Design

Joe Daniels (OS 2012) – Online Content and Sound

Jenny Muellenbach (OS 2015)  – Costume Design

Amazing reviews

The musical is a tale of love, loss and hope that explores the lives of a group of South Manchester lads and lasses caught up in the trauma of the First World War and has received great reviews.

Chris Oatway of North West End writes:

Boasting a world premiere and commemorating the centenary of the Great War, Ollie Mills and Rachel Mann’s masterpiece is beautifully poignant, thought-provoking and utterly authentic.

Philip Caveney of Bouquets Brickbats Reviews gives the Tree of War “4 stars”.

Meredith Ellis, Josie Napper and Tasmin Ray

Alex Cosgriff (OS 2014) as Bert Trott and Sam Gilliatt (OS 2014) as Greville Harcourt

Originally a one-act show performed to acclaim in 2014, the writers Oliver Mills (OS 2012) and Rachel Mann have reworked the show into a two-act West End style show.

Co-writer and director of the show Oliver Mills (OS 2012) told us:

The production is the culmination of a year and a half’s worth of writing and 6 months of production.  The 22-strong cast of singers and actors contains a large number of current and former pupils from Stockport Grammar School, notably our two leading men Sam Gilliatt (OS 2014) and Alex Cosgriff (OS 2014) who also led the school production of Godspell in 2014.

Mrs Flint of Stockport Grammar School describes the production as “Brilliant. Absolutely stunning! It was incredible to see such representation from SGS and to see how our former pupils have progressed since leaving School. Amazing!”

The Tree of War is Oliver’s first project as a professional composer / musician having just graduated after studying music at The University of York.  The piece was written to commemorate 100 years since the First World War and music from the show debuted at a successful preview concert at Manchester Cathedral in August 2015.

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