Leading British voice actor brings moving First World War show to Broadstairs

Christopher Kent and William Green perform Never Such Innocence

Ever wondered who the voice is behind trailers for big films such as The Little Stranger, The King’s Speech, Spooks and many others? The answer is British actor Christopher Kent, who will be presenting his acclaimed show Never Such Innocence in Broadstairs next week.

He will appear, with the virtuoso concert pianist William Green, at The Sarah Thorne Theatre as part of The Canterbury Festival on October 20 at 7.30pm.

Christopher said: “Ever since I studied the poetry and history of the First World War at school, I have been drawn to this period. When I was given a box of family letters and documents about a relative of mine who served in it as a boy soldier, I knew it was a story that had to be told.”

Never Such Innocence tells the individual story of Christopher’s great uncle, 19-year-old conscript Private Percy O’Key, through his real-life letters and diaries. Theses are interspersed with the words of writers such as Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon and Vera Brittain and piano music of the period by composers including Elgar, Ravel, Debussy and Schoenberg. It is a compelling journey from innocence to loss, told with unflinching clarity and compassion.

Never Such Innocence was first performed during the Somme 100 commemorations in 2016 and has since been seen at theatres, festivals and concert venues around the country, including sell-out performances in London’s West End. It was also recently featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, when Katie Derham described it as “an incredibly moving performance”.

Christopher added: “We have had some deeply emotional and extraordinary reactions to the show as we’ve travelled round the country. From serving veterans to people with personal connections, including Vera Brittain’s daughter Baroness Shirley Williams, and even an old gentleman who knew Siegfried Sassoon personally. Audiences seem to be genuinely moved by the personal story of one individual set against the words and music of the time.”

Never Such Innocence

Saturday, October 20, 7.30pm

The Sarah Thorne Theatre, Fordoun Road, Broadstairs

Tickets: 01843 863701