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New Vic play tells of war camp escape

Published: 25 January 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

“One of the most daring escape attempts in World War history”: Tom, Dick and Harry

A new stage play based on the true story behind the escape of three men from a German prisoner-of-war camp in World War II is to have its première at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme before going on a national tour.

Tom, Dick and Harry is co-written by Andrew Pollard, Mike Hugo and New Vic artistic director Theresa Heskins. It will “debunk the myths, honour the people involved and tell the true story of one of the most daring escape attempts in World War history”.

The play is “filled with dynamic drama, humour and breathtaking theatricality” and is “an incredible tale about solidarity across nations and of an unbreakable spirit to achieve the impossible”. The script was inspired by top-secret information that was classified in the war archives until 1972.

Heskins who will direct the play said, “we’ll tell it as a really dynamic, vibrant piece of theatre that celebrates the ingenuity and spirit of the escapees. The story is comic, tragic, an adventure and quite thoughtful at times.

“I think audiences will be fascinated to learn what we discovered in the archives which honours the memory of those involved at the same time as offering some surprising insights.

“And of course we’re making it as theatre-in-the-round, which is such an engaging way to make and see a play: audiences feel so much a part of the action which makes for a spirit of togetherness that is very much in keeping with this story about how much can be achieved when people work together.”

Tom, Dick and Harry will open at the New Vic from Friday 10 June until Saturday 9 July.

    Related listings

  • Tom, Dick and Harry - Andrew Pollard, Michael Hugo and Theresa Heskins (New Vic and Kenny Wax Ltd)