It is easy to be dead has received 5 stars in The Guardian and Tom has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Offie Award.
Tom plays William, a Scottish Professor of Philosophy in a play about the life of war poet Charles Sorley It Is Easy To Be Dead which runs from Wednesday 15th June to the 9th July 2016.
“Movingly played by Jenny Lee and Tom Marshall” – Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement
“Moving performances from Tom Marshall and Jenny Lee” – Robert Tanitch, Mature Times
“Beautifully played by Jenny Lee and Tom Marshall” – Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide
“Tom Marshall and Jenny Lee … garner the emotional response” – Heather Jeffrey, London Pub Theatres
“And your bright Promise, withered long and sped,
Is touched, stirs, rises, opens and grows sweet
And blossoms and is you, when you are dead.”
Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the world premiere of It Is Easy To Be Dead by award-winning playwright Neil McPherson.
Born in Aberdeen, Charles Sorley was studying in Germany when the First World War broke out and was briefly imprisoned as an enemy alien. He was one of the first to join the army in 1914.
Killed in action a year later at the age of 20, his poems are among the most ambivalent , profound and moving war poetry ever written.
It Is Easy To Be Dead tells the story of Sorley’s brief life through his work and music and songs from some of the greatest composers of the period including George Butterworth, Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna, Ivor Gurney, John Ireland, Rudi Stephan and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Unique among the poets of the First World War, Sorley’s life and work fits chronologically into the patriotic idealism of such writers as Julian Grenfell and Rupert Brooke (whom Sorley criticised for his “sentimental attitude”). Perhaps because of his time in Germany before the war, Sorley perceived the truth of the war long before his fellow writers, and anticipated the grim disillusionment of later poets such as Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg and Siegfried Sassoon.
The cast includes Jenny Lee (West End, Royal Court Theatre, The Young Vic, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Tom Marshall (National Theatre, West End, Royal Court Theatre, Menier Chocolate Factory) and two new discoveries – actor Alexander Knox as Charles Sorley, and acclaimed young tenor Hugh Benson.