Swindon Arts Centre
Tuesday 17 September
This one-man play about Winston Churchill’s little known early life is about to embark on Swindon as part of a national tour. Created by London-based company, Fol Espoir, ‘Winston on the Run’ opens in Churchill’s home town of Chipping Norton and tells the story of Churchill’s war-time experiences in South Africa, and his astonishing escape across hundreds of miles of savannah to rejoin British lines.
It’s 1899 and the 24-year old Winston is approaching the twentieth-century with little to his name but a shambolically unsuccessful election campaign. Neglected by his parents and a failure at school, Winston takes a job as a war correspondent and finds himself posted in South Africa, embroiled in the Boer War.
Less than a month later he is an escaped prisoner-of-war on the run in the vast South African savannah, taking cover at the bottom of a deep mineshaft. With nothing but rats for company, the young Winston’s mind quickly sinks into paranoia and despair. As the moment for a fresh break approaches his sanity teeters on the brink. What will await him at the surface? Freedom or capture? Fame or disgrace? Triumph or disaster?
Despite being voted ‘greatest Briton of all time’ in a BBC poll, surprisingly little is known about Churchill’s formative early experiences. His daring escape was a defining point of his early life, catapulting him to international fame and jump-starting his political career. ‘Winston on the Run’ shows a young Churchill confronted by both a dangerous enemy and his own ‘black-dog’ of depression. In learning to never surrender, he began his ascent towards political greatness.
Arts Centre Box Office NEW opening times
Monday Friday: 10am – 5pm
On nights when there are shows the Box Office will remain open until the start of the performance.