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Private Sidney Robert Verrier (1923-1997)

SID: The Ballad of a Soldier

Thu 27 Apr

SID: The Ballad of a Soldier

The Life and Letters of Private Sidney Robert Verrier (1923-1997) in Music, Memories and Spoken Word, by Mick Verrier

Sid is Mick Verrier’s ground-breaking live audio-visual ballad-cycle, inspired by over one hundred and fifty letters written by his Uncle, a veteran of D-Day (1944), the Ardennes campaign (1945), the Rhine Crossing (1945) and Palestine (1945-6).

Building upon the Radio Ballad model created by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker and Peggy Seeger, Mick weaves a rich tapestry of original ballads and spoken word alongside the memories of those who shared Sid’s experiences, set against a backdrop of vivid imagery, including Sid’s letters, telling the story of Sid’s five years in the army and the heart-rending aftermath: fifty years in mental institutions.


Choral Tradition for Sid: The Ballad of a Soldier

The Ballad Singers

Emily Verrier

Mick Verrier


The War Diary/The Psychiatrist

Simon Todd


The Chorus

David Sanders (Cello) ~ Debbie Jones (English Concertina) ~ Jerry Jones (Violin) ~ Penny Verrier (Recorders) ~ Zoe Munson (Flutes) ~ Gary Lewis (IT) ~ Annie Donaldson ~ Cathy Offord ~ Jill Ritchie ~ Len Smith ~ Roger Hamer


The performance also features the voices of

Sue, Ian and Christian Fairhall-Smith, Gerald Donaldson, Luke Hollway, Richard Verrier, James Verrier and the late Herbert Holewa


With special thanks to Dr Mary Mazzilli, Dr Elizabeth Bennett, Professor Elizabeth Kuti and Dr Nora Williams, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS), University of Essex

Choral Tradition is a workshop and performance music group based in Harwich, Essex. The group’s primary focus is the music of the ‘West Gallery’ and related traditions, but there are occasional forays into other projects. New members are always welcome – speak to any member of the group for further information.

SID: THE BALLAD OF A SOLDIER is the creative element of Mick Verrier’s PhD thesis, due for submission later this year. Please do complete the Feedback Sheet handed to you on entry, or speak to Mick or any member of the cast with any specific feedback you wish to give.

  • Thu 27 Apr
  • 19:30
  • £5
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