ON SEPTEMBER 25 1915, 75,000 British soldiers rose from their trenches to attack German lines on Loos-en-Gohelle. By the end of the day, some 10,240 would be dead, with the six British divisions in action suffering more casualties per unit than on the first day of the Somme.
Two men who fought in, and survived the Battle of Loos wrote about what it was like to be involved in one of the bloodiest battles of WWI - Robert Graves in Goodbye To All That, and Irishman Patrick MacGill, in The Great Push. MacGill's book has been adapted for the stage by Galway actor/writer Gerry Conneely, and will be staged in the Town Hall Theatre studio from Monday February 12 to Saturday 17 at 8.30pm.
Conneely plays an elderly MacGill reminiscing on that fateful day when he and his regiment, The London Irish, went over the top at Loos, in one of the first of the great heaves on the western front. It follows the travails of MacGill and his companions from the day before, to the evening after, the attack. Practically all of the material in the show was written by MacGill within hours, sometimes even minutes of when the events occurred. The result is a unique insight into the consciousness of a man in extremis.
The show is produced by Expresso Productions. Tickets are from the Town Hall (091 - 569777, www.tht.ie ).