First look images have been released for Into Battle now playing at the Greenwich Theatre until 31st October. Set against the background of the historically divisive 1910 general election, the New Play reveals how a ‘bitter feud’ at Balliol College, Oxford between the Etonian undergraduates and their more socially aware counterparts exposed the unfairness of society at the time and begs the question ‘how much has changed?’.
In the early years of the 20th century, Balliol College established a Boys Club in the worst slum in Oxford, where a group of undergraduates dedicated their lives to helping those less privileged than themselves – and a totally contrasting set of values to the wealthy, aristocratic Etonians. The social divisions are brought to life in Into Battle through characters as diverse as the noted War Poets Julian Grenfell and Patrick Shaw-Stewart, the aristocratic society heiress Lady ‘Ettie’ Desborough, future bishop Revd. Neville Talbot and the celebrated captain of the England rugby team Ronald Poulton-Palmer.
Hugh Salmon, the writer of the play, said: ‘ the issues exposed by Into Battle, and the fact that they are still prevalent today, beg the question as to whether, with a small increase in taxation and a few cabinet changes, the unfairnesses in society will still be here in 100 years time as much as they were 100 years ago’