Barbed Wire for Kisses is a spellbinding performance of storytelling and music, in which the narratives of families in one small community tell the bigger story of the First World War. Lives and deaths on several fronts are played out without leaving the boundaries of an English parish. The trials, tragedies and triumphs at home open a human window onto the trauma that shaped the twentieth century.

Drawing on material from the Lincolnshire County Archive and using music that is traditional, original and adapted from composers and writers of the period (Butterworth, Finzi, Gurney, Hardy and Housman), storytellers and musicians invoke an English rural world in crisis, a world that is both remote and familiar.

“A wonderful piece of storytelling.”

“Startlingly immediate!”

“As immersive and as deeply engaging as a feature-length film or a full-length novel.”

“By the end of this powerful and moving performance I felt as though I had not only walked its streets but worshiped at its church, and knew personally everyone who lived there.”

“Full of sensuous strength.”


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